FGM involves cutting of the various parts of their private parts like clitoris, vulva, labia minora majora and it often involves sewing the entire area just to help the girls remain pure until marriage. Female genital mutilation is a Non-medical practice by that practice removes genital organs of female. When they are young mostly their genital organs are cut and in many cases the age of girls is under five. FGM is practiced all over the world but is predominant in 30 countries , in some of those countries high prevalence rates means that nearly all girls still experience FGM. Female genital mutilation mainly began in Egypt and Yemen and came in India in 1500s the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim come Gujarat India by migration.
Four types of FGM .
Type 1- Clitoridectomy. Meaning – removal of the clitoris.
Type 2- Excision. Meaning- removal of the clitoris and the labia.
Type 3- Infibulation Meaning- narrowing of the vaginal opening sometimes through stitching.
Type 4- all other harmful procedures not covered by the first three including pricking, stretching, scrapping or even using acid to mutilate parts of the genitalia.
More than two hundred million women have undergone FGM. The practice perform and girls are cut in unhealthy situations without proper equipment and without giving anesthesia. Female genital mutilation is a form of violence which against women and girls and it is also a sexual assault, and abuse against child by this practice they were try to control the sexuality of women and girls for a culture that for ready a girl and women for purpose of marriage. Allegedly to purify them for their husbands. Sometimes it’s done to girls because it was done to their mother as a rite of passage or a coming-of-age ritual or even without much of an explanation at all.
Impact of Female Genital Mutilation
Unlike Male circumcision that have beneficial for health outcome, Female Genital Mutilation contrarily effect on females health and the main aim of that practice is to control the sexuality of women and subordinate them in society. When any women passes with female genital mutilation then she is subjected to sex based discrimination that deal with her recognition, enjoyment, and fundamental rights and her liberty.
A practice which have no benefits and it is non-medical practice can cause many other problems like- Sever bleeding, complication in child birth, problems in urinating, and faced menstrual problem, faced problems in sex, faced mental health issues, faced shock, and death.
It is worth noting that whereas female genital mutilation has an explicit effects contrary on women health the male circumcision has no contrary effect on and it can be actually argued that, in fact it avoid negative effect of certain types of infection it has positive effect on male health. Therefore female genital mutilation is clear violation of right to life and dignity and right to privacy and it is also violation of right that no one is discriminate on the basis of their sex.
Justice K. S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India 2018, the court held,
“The right to privacy is an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.”
Indian and international scenario
National laws of many states and many international treaties and conventions criticized Female genital mutilation. Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being,” and this statement has argued on that female genital mutilation violates the right of health and physical integrity. Female genital mutilation is believed to be form violence which done against women the United Nations convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination which committed against Women can be evoke. Defining it as torture and fetch it under convention against torture and also other inhumane, degrading treatment, and cruel act or punishment. Also since female genital mutilation is considered as traditional practice which prejudicial for the health of children’s and in many cases it done against minor child. Which clearly violates the rights of minor child convention. A statement on female genital mutilation. Was released on 2008 and which issued by 10 organization of United Nation.
FGM is not happening only in far away Africa it’s not just being practiced in tribal societies young girls aged 6 and 7 are regularly been cut right here in India. Mumbai abounds with untrained midwives who continue to scare young girls from the bohra community. Female genital mutilation or circumcision a subject that never argued and keep confidential until it Bohra community call it. There are so many different reasons from different women about why it’s done, most common is that this is unwanted skin because it is source of sin or it leads to too much promiscuity. Till now India have no law against female genital mutilation the reason behind that is government still refuse to accept the practice of female genital mutilation existence .
In spite of having laws of Indian Penal Code and Protection of Child Sexual Offence which can tackle with female genital mutilation this tradition has been prevailed from long decades. We need distinct law on female genital mutilation by which we can tackle the spread, support and dissemination of practice. Female genital mutilation/circumcision, and terms like clitoris, labia majora and labia minor, must be defined legally.
Laws and initiatives
The United Nations declared FGM a human rights violation but there is no such ban in India. It’s an offence in the UK for any person what ever their nationality, it’s now also an offence to fail to protect girls at risk of FGM which carries a maximum sentence of 7 years imprison this applies parents and guardians of a girl.
In 1996 US enacted ban on FGM. In India according to sections 324 and 326, IPC there is penalties of imprisonment and fines for ‘voluntarily causing hurt’ and ‘voluntarily causing grievous hurt’. On a complaint, the police are obligated to register a case under Section 326 of the IPC , it is noted by Former Director of the central bureau of investigation (CBI), R.K.Raghavan. There is no specific law against this practice, although in a general law i.e. Indian penal code section 320,322,334,335,336,337,338 and 340 this practice is an offence. Also as per the Indian constitution this practice is a violation of fundamental right of Article 14 and 21 because this practice denies equality of status and life and personal liberty also.
POCSO is the special law that protects minors from sexual assaults.
In the case Sunita Tiwari v. Union of India (W.P. (C) No.286/2017), “which has recently been referred to a constitutional bench, a wide range of reliefs are being sought, which include: (a) ensuring a complete ban on the practice of female genital mutilation in India by: first, declaring it to be a criminal offence which is cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable; and, second by issuance of directions to the state to frame stricter laws; (b) declaration of the practice as illegal and unconstitutional.”
The private and taboo nature of the practice makes it extremely difficult to know how many people have been affected by FGM and it makes it just as difficult for survivors to speak up. Just because we haven’t had more reported cases it doesn’t mean that it’s not happening. It’s important for us to know the reluctance on the signals that FGM was done or is about to be done, the perpetrators who were they are, the parents, people whom the girl trust that’s who do it to them and the request to police is to don’t use the family members as interpreters they are not going to be truthful they are going to tell the wrong thing because they will not want to admit what has happened to the girl. It is a cycle of societal pressure that is difficult to remove but it is not impossible it can be remove. In fact many people of these countries demand that the practice of female genital mutilation end forever although it is entangled in confidentiality. By saying this female genital mutilation is done for increasing the purity of women and reduce their sexual desire and by this process her behavior is not deteriorate and she is more loyal to her husband. By saying this community clearly violates the fundamental rights and show their patriarchal and misogynist thinking towards women that must be end women have their fundamental rights and no one have right to control on their sexuality. The survivors of female genital mutilation tell global citizens that they wants to completely end female genital mutilations and they can help in doings so and they want to speak about the reality of female genital mutilation. Female genital mutilation is not religious practice it is occurs in many communities like Islam, Christian, Jewish, but there is nothing in their sacred books that teaches it. Basically FGM is violence against girls. This practice clearly violates the fundamental right of women if it cannot end then we cannot ensure equality in between women and men which is given in Article 14 of Indian constitution. If we want to do equality then this practice must be end.