Several women from the Dawoodi Bohra community have come together to launch a campaign this week seeking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to declare Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) illegal.
The online campaign under the banner of WeSpeakOut was kickstarted on November 19, World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse. Since India doesn’t have an anti-FGM legislation, unlike many countries where the practice is just as prevalent, the letter requests that the government at least issue advisories to state governments, and to the Bohra Syednas, declaring FGM an offence under the existing IPC and POCSO provisions. IPC Sections 319 to 326 deal with punitive measures for causing hurt and grievous hurt of varying degree. FGM also fits the definition of sexual assault on a child under POCSO.