We were subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) when we were 7. The practice involves the cutting of the clitoral hood of a girl child, sometimes in a very crude manner.
We belong to the Bohra Community in India. There are almost 2 million Bohras in the world with a majority of them in India. More than 80% of the women in our community have been cut.
For the longest time, Bohra women were too scared to speak out against FGM. We feared ostracization by our religious leaders and even our own families turning against us.
But, we are silent no more. Several survivors have come together to end FGM in India under the banner “Speak out on FGM”.
FGM is practiced widely in Asia, but in a shroud of secrecy. In Indonesia alone, half of girls under the age of 11 have gone through FGM.
FGM has also been reported in Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
FGM is child abuse. It has no health benefits, it can cause medical complications and emotional trauma. It is done to control women, their chastity and their sexual desires.
All our appeals to the Bohra religious leaders to end FGM in the community have been ignored so far.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), is the leading international agency that has been actively supporting efforts to eradicate FGM in African countries. But Asian countries have largely been ignored.
If we don’t get the United Nation’s support soon, a whole generation of girls in Asia will continue to be subjected to this horrible human rights violation.
This is our appeal to show them that FGM is a problem in Asia and that their support is urgently needed here. The UN’s support on research, awareness programs and advocacy can go a long way in the FGM survivors’ fight in ending this horrendous practice in Asia.
But we can’t do this alone. We need the support of the global community. If thousands of people from around the world sign my petition, we can ensure that the UN will make a commitment to end FGM in Asia.
FGM is one of the most discriminatory practices that young girls are subjected to. This is the time to come together and raise our voices to end FGM.
The UNFPA is having it’s annual meeting in May, help us reach 500,000 signatures before this meeting. If all of us come together, we’ll make sure that the UN doesn’t ignore our demand.
Join us in our fight to end this horrible practice in Asia. Sign this petition.
Video Credit: Scroll.in
This petition will be delivered to:
- President of UN Women
- Executive Director, UNFPA
Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin
- Executive Director, UNICEF