Open Letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Dear Prime Minister Modi,

On this World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse, we are writing to urge you to issue a statement that Female Genital Mutilation (also known as FGM, khatna or female genital cutting) is illegal in India. We request that the Government of India issue advisories, as promised, to the State governments, and to the Bohra Syednas, declaring FGM an offence under the IPC and POCSO provisions, in the absence of a separate act. This would go a long way to achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal of eradicating FGM in all countries by 2030, a goal that India, and other UN Member States, adopted in 2016.

We are aware that FGM continues on a daily basis, and that more young girls are suffering as a result. FGM is a form of sexual violence that has deep emotional, sexual and physical consequences, with many of these consequences continuing throughout an adult woman’s life. It is time to end this harmful practice that causes pain and suffering to women and girls.

We urge you to issue a statement to all concerned, especially the leaders of the community who protect and promote this tradition, that the Government of India, as a progressive democracy in the world, will not tolerate FGM/khatna, and that it is illegal under the existing laws in India.

We must all work to end this unnecessary practice, and your actions will have a significant impact on curtailing it for girls and women, giving them an opportunity to live their lives without fear.

With much respect,

 

Masooma Ranalvi, Samina, Zehra Patwa, Alifya Sulemanji, Sakina, Farzana Doctor, Shabnum Poonawala, Saleha Paatwala, Tasneema Ranalvi, Ummul Ranalvi, Jaria HL, Rashida Rangwala, Dr Sheroo Zamindar, MD DGO,  Senior Gynacologist at Apollo Hospital, Ahemedabad, Gujrat

 

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