Bohra activist against female genital mutilation says veil of secrecy keeps women from speaking out

Federal officials recently filed charges against a suburban Detroit doctor for allegedly performing female genital mutilation (FGM) on several young girls. They say doctor Jumana Nagarwala performed female genital mutilation on two seven-year-olds from Minnesota.

The practice of FGM is illegal in the United States and two others are charged with conspiring to perform the act. Nagarwala has pleaded “not guilty,” and her attorney has said she was performing a religious ritual of the Bohra community, not genital mutilation.

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes female genital mutilation as the partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora. Some of these cuttings go further.

The practice is most common in the western, eastern, and north-eastern regions of Africa, in some countries of the Middle East and Asia, as well as among migrants from these areas.

Zehra Patwa, an activist with the group “Speak out on FGM,” joined Stateside to talk about the practice and the effort of some Bohras to end it.

http://michiganradio.org/post/bohra-activist-against-female-genital-mutilation-says-veil-secrecy-keeps-women-speaking-out

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