Why in News?
- An Indian mother moved the Supreme Court against a custom in the Dawoodi Bohra community which allows a man to take over from his estranged wife the custody of their child who is above seven without any due process of law.
About Dawoodi Bohra community
- The Dawoodi Bohras are a religious denomination within the Ismaili branch of Shia Islam.
- In 2018, a bench of then CJI Dipak Misra referred a petition seeking a ban on Female genital mutilation among Dawoodi Bohra girls to a five-judge Constitution Bench.
Female Genital Mutilation
- Female genital mutilation (FGM) involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
- The reasons behind the practice vary. In some cases, it is seen as a rite of passage into womanhood, while others see it as a way to suppress a woman’s sexuality. Many communities practice genital mutilation in the belief that it will ensure a girl’s future marriage or family honour. Some associate it with religious beliefs, although no religious scriptures require it.
- The practice has no health benefits for girls and women.
- FGM can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
- It is estimated that more than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where the practice is concentrated.
- FGM is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15.
- Treatment of health complications of FGM in 27 high prevalence countries costs 1.4 billion USD per year.
- FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women. It is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children.