The fight to end genital mutilation in India
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The practice is physical and psychological 'torture,' activists say
Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, the spiritual head of Dawoodi Bohra Community during a program in Mumbai on Feb. 26, 2014. The Indian religious leader defends female gentile mutilation on religious grounds. (IANS file photo)
At the age of seven, Yamini (not her real name) went through a religious torture that continues to haunt her. The sudden, excruciating pain she suffered in her genitals left her scarred for life.
Yamini is a victim of female genital mutilation, practiced discreetly by India's approximately 1 million strong Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community, a sect within the Ismaili branch of Shia Islam. While India has no law banning genital mutilation, women's groups have started a campaign to end the practice.
Yamini said that her grandmother and other elderly women in the family "took me to a dingy one-room house in a narrow lane. After talking to the woman in the house for a few minutes, my grandmother asked me to lie down."
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