Women Recount The Horror Of ‘That Unheard Practice’ – Female Genital Cutting

Posted by Saswati Chatterjee in Gender-Based Violence, Video
December 9, 2016

It’s an issue so little talked about that you might even have to Google FGC or Female Genital Cutting after watching this video. Yet, it affects an incredible 200 million women around the world, and these are only the reported statistics.

FGC, also known as khatna in the Dawoodi Bohra community, is carried out in some countries in the world, India being among them. Girls around the age of 7 are often subjected to this procedure where it involves the complete or partial removal or the clitoral hood or the clitoris, for no medically valid reason.  That’s right, this ‘procedure’ has no health benefits and exists simply as yet another way for society to curtail a woman’s sexuality and sexual freedom, this time literally.

This video by organisations Love Matters and Sahiyo has Dawoodi Bohra women, (who, as a community, reside mainly in the west of India and parts of Pakistan; a significant chunk of their population is also settled abroad), sharing their stories of dealing with the trauma of having undergone FGC at a very young age. They call FGM a “tradition”, which it is in many parts of the world, because of a woman’s sexuality is perceived as “sinful”. In an interview with Hindustan Times, a woman even called the clitoris (seen as the root of female sexuality) a “haraam ki boti” (immoral lump of flesh).

As the woman in the video say, it is more than a “small nick or a cut” – it’s a barbaric practice, a violation of the right a woman has to her own body. What’s also disturbing is how this practice is often aided and abetted by older women themselves, who have been conditioned the believe that their bodies deserve to be mutilated in the name of ‘culture’, that it’s okay to take young girls into dark rooms and cut them, all in the name of ‘culture’. The psychological trauma of this can never be discounted or forgotten, especially for those who continue to suffer of a memory they do not want to call.

Raise your voice and join the fight against FGC:
Millions of women have suffered in silence because of #FGC. Say ‘no more’ #RaiseYourVoice!