'The Dilemma': Survivor-Led Organisation Releases Short Film Promoting Abolishment Of Female Genital Mutilation

'The Dilemma': Survivor-Led Organisation Releases Short Film Promoting Abolishment Of Female Genital Mutilation

'The Dilemma' talks about khatna or khafz where a young girl child’s clitoral hood is cut, damaging her genitals and potentially impacting her future sex life.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 01:50 AM IST
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A survivor-led organisation working towards ending Female Genital Mutilation, has released a powerful shortfilm sensitively exploring the centuries-old practice. ‘The Dilemma’ talks about khatna or khafz where a young girl child’s clitoral hood is cut, damaging her genitals and potentially impacting her future sex life.

WeSpeakOut, a survivor-led non-profit organization, has been working to eliminate Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) through education, advocacy, and support for victims and families impacted by this human rights violation. In another effort to abandon FGM/C through positive dialogue, the organisation has released ‘The Dilemma’, a thought-provoking Gujarati short film about the tradition in the Bohra community.

The Dilemma, the first of its kind film, offers a nuanced, humanizing look at the complex emotional conflict faced by parents in the community where FGM is deeply entrenched as a social norm and perceived as a religious requirement. The film follows a Bohra couple grappling with whether to subject their young daughter to khatna and its potential physical, sexual, and psychological consequences. Through thoughtful dialogue, the film fosters understanding between believer and non-believer perspectives. Its approach underscores that sustainable change must come from within communities themselves.

Masooma Ranalvi, an FGM survivor and the founder of WeSpeakOut, said, "With this film, we aim to open hearts and minds through authentic storytelling that resonates with the community still bound by this harmful tradition. We want young parents to know that you can love your community, respect your elders and still choose not to cut your daughters. We want them to educate themselves first."

According to WeSpeakOut, over 200 million girls and women have undergone some form of the procedure globally. In India, FGM remains widely prevalent particularly among the Dawoodi and Alavi Bohra communities. There is also evidence of a certain sunni-Muslim sect in Kerala performing FGM/C on infant girls as well. Abolishing FGM is also one of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Dr. Hannah Nazri, obstetrics and gynaecology, NHS England, said, "The practice of FGM/C is a violation of human rights and has no health benefits whatsoever. The clitoral hood of the developing clitoris is highly connected to the body in a seven year old. Therefore, any nicking, pricking or cutting of the clitoral glands in females causes immense pain and damages growing tissue with potentially serious repercussions in adulthood,"

The Supreme Court of India is also currently hearing a PIL to ban the practice and WeSpeakOut founder Masooma Ranalvi is an intervening petitioner in that matter. 'The Dilemma' is available on WeSpeakOut’s YouTube channels. The Gujarati film with subtitles in English has already over 2.3k views. 

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