Dec 7: Join our Twitter chat on Type 1 Female Genital Cutting in Asia

Female Genital Cutting is practiced in many different ways, some less severe than others. But is a woman’s experience of such a ritual any less significant if the cutting was “mild”?

Love Matters India and Sahiyo would love to discuss this question – and many others – with all of you in a Twitter Chat on Wednesday, December 7, 2016.

Timings: The Twitter Chat begins at

  • 7.30 pm IST (India and Sri Lanka)
  • 9 am EST (US east coast)
  • 4 pm in Egypt
  • 10 pm in Singapore and Malaysia

Here is how you can participate:

  • Log into your Twitter account (or make one, if you are not on Twitter yet!)
  • Follow the handles @lovemattersinfo and @sahiyo2016
  • Respond to our questions and tweets about Type I FGC
  • Remember to use the hashtag #NoMoreKhatna in all your tweets!

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Why this discussion is important: According to United Nations statistics, at least 200 million girls from 30 countries around the world have been subjected to Female Genital Cutting / Mutilation (FGC/M), a practice that involves cutting away varying degrees of the female genitalia.

The World Health Organisation classifies FGC into four types, depending on how severe the cut is. For decades, activists, researchers, funders and the media have focused mainly on Types II and III, the most severe forms of genital cutting.

Type I, however, has often been overlooked. This form involves cutting the clitoral hood, and/or part or all of the clitoris, and it is prevalent in a number of Asian communities, including the Dawoodi Bohras and Malay Muslims. All too often, concerns about this “mild” form genital cutting are dismissed as overreactions. “It is just a small nick, a small slice of skin,” we are told. “It is not the same as the mutilation done in Africa,” they say.

We believe it is time to re-examine these notions about Type I FGC, to give voice to those who have been affected and to recognise that even the least severe genital cuts are still a form of gender violence.

And as a prequel to the Twitter Chat, do watch this video by Love Matters India and director Priya Goswami, featuring Bohra voices of resistance to Type I FGC:

Proud to present: ‘A Small Nick or Cut, they say…’

Sahiyo is extremely proud to share ‘A Small Nick or Cut, they say’ – a short video produced by Love Matters India and written and directed by our very own Sahiyo co-founder Priya Goswami. The film features Dawoodi Bohra women and men speaking, boldly and earnestly, about the need to end Khatna, or Type I Female Genital Cutting.

If you have been reading up about Female Genital Cutting/Mutilation, you have probably come across the figure of 200 million. It’s a statistic from the United Nations: at least 200 million girls in 30 countries around the world have been subjected to the practice of FGC/M, a ritual that involves cutting away varying degrees of the female genitalia.

The World Health Organisation classifies FGC into four types, depending on how severe the cut is. And for decades, activists, researchers, funders and the media have focused mainly on Types II and III, the most severe forms of genital cutting.

Type I has often been overlooked. This form of FGC involves cutting the clitoral hood, and/or part or all of the clitoris, and it is prevalent in a number of Asian communities, including the Dawoodi Bohra community.

All too often, concerns about this “mild” form genital cutting are dismissed as overreactions. “It is just a small nick, a small slice of skin,” we are told. “It is not the same as the mutilation done in Africa,” they say.

In this video, we are here to say, “No More”. No more shall we brush aside the varied experiences of thousands of women across Asia or of Asian descent who were cut against their will. No more shall we allow “mild” genital cutting to be condoned because it is “not as bad” as the more severe forms. We shall speak, because even this least severe type of cut is a form of gender violence, and our girls should never be cut at all.

This video, produced by Love Matters India and Sahiyo, is an attempt to give voice to the multitude of experiences associated with Type I FGC. It is also an attempt to acknowledge the complexities and limitations of language – the dilemma of labeling people as “victims” or “survivors”.

The women and men featured in the video include, among others, Sahiyo’s co-founders and a father-daughter duo – Abbas and Saleha Paatwala – who want a better future for the next generation of Dawoodi Bohras.

Do watch and share the video, and join the global movement to help abandon FGC!

And finally, a big thank you to all those who have made this video possible:

A film by Love Matters India and RNW Media
Written and Directed by Priya Goswami
Director of Photography: Jayanth Mathavan
Sound Recording and Post: Tanmay Das
Music: Prabir Sekhri
Director’s Associate: Sabika Muzaffar
Production Assistance, Mumbai: Saurav Sahu; Delhi: Saleha Paatwala
Edit and Graphics: Priya Goswami
Color Correction: Mahak Gupta
Special Thanks: Siddharth Meer

As a follow-up to this video, Love Matters and Sahiyo will host a Twitter Chat on Type 1 FGC on December 7. Read more here and join us in the discussion!