There is no explicit clause or legislation criminalising genital mutilation, tarnishing the bodily integrity and rights over reproductive organs of a female, which have been enumerated time and again in leading judgements. This egregious infarction, perhaps unintentional on the judiciary’s part, very evidently goes against constitutional principles under the Golden Triangle, thereby ignoring the existence of this practice.
The outlook of the apex court was that FGM is a reason to cause permanent emotional and mental scar, violation of dignity and subjugation of women’s sexuality under religious garb, which goes right against the Freedom of Speech and Expression as guaranteed by Article 19, quashing the contention that the practice is covered under Articles 25 and 26 of the Indian Constitution, which is very wrong as The practice of Female Circumcision has a far-reaching impact on the physical, sexual and mental health of an individual. So evidently the practice of FGM is a threat to the health of the women who have to undergo the procedure. Thus, if evaluated keeping in mind the damage it does to a woman’s health, the practice can’t be justified under Article 25.
The justification for FGM is also often premised on a deeply sexist rationale of curtailing the sexual desire a woman such that she doesn’t stray away from marital obligations.
As per article 15(3) of the Indian constitution, the state can make ‘special laws’ for women to uplift their condition. More importantly, the freedom of religion outlined in Articles 25 and 26 of the Indian Constitution, is also subject to other provisions entailed in Part III that is to the fundamental rights of the Indian Constitution.[xv] FGM endangers the right to life and personal liberty that falls within the scope of article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
The fact that there is a grave paucity of data related to the practice of genital mutilation, causing the subsequent absence of dedicated judgements abolishing the practice with punitive measures, unlike the world scenario, and there is a pressing need to change the circumstance since not only does this contribute to the recurring issues of gender-based violence and unjust treatment, it violates basic human and fundamental rights of a whole societal section.
In order to guard the citizenry’s safeguard measures, the legal system’s loopholes must be eliminated at the earliest and not be left for crimes to duress lawmakers into rushed submission and a proper legislation should be made to ban FGM, because It is about time that the practises that restrict women were eliminated in order to ensure a more equal society. Although it is apparently a given that women have equal status and equal treatment as men, it is just distressing that they still have to stand up for it and fight for it. Where social values and traditions are out-dated and limits on the rights of persons are enforced, legal reform is capable of inducing social change.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge
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