I was 7 years old when my grandmother told me that she is taking me out. I was so happy and dressed up quickly, expecting to be given some goodies. Instead, I was taken to the house of a strange lady who frightened me when she pinned me down. And after that, what I remember is howling, crying, acute pain and everyone around pacifying me. The whole day passed with agony and I was afraid to pass urine because of the pain.
I kept on asking my mother and grandmother about what was done to me. The only answers I got: it was for my good and I would be fine soon.
However, as I grew up, I was enlightened about “Khatna” as an Islamic tradition, which was also performed on my younger brother. Later, when it was my daughter’s turn, I had to quietly go along with our religious tenets.
Now, my granddaughter is 6 years old, and for her I will not support the practice of khatna. Now I am convinced that female circumcision only results in agony and pain for a girl child, with none of the benefits it is claimed to have. Also, not all Muslim communities practice it.
Moreover, I am happy that NGOs like Sahiyo have brought this issue to the forefront and are getting worldwide support.