Demystifying the practice of khafd in the Dawoodi Bohra community: A commentary on the WeSpeakOut report from India

Anika Khan, Sualeha Siddiq Shekhani, Aamir Jafarey

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2018.075


In this commentary, we critique a recent report on female genital cutting (FGC) in the Indian Dawoodi Bohra community titled “The Clitoral hood a contested site: Khafd or female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in India.” Published against the backdrop of possible legislation against FGC in India, the report makes good recommendations and is a useful addition to global literature on FGC. We critique specific sections of the document using relevant literature and informal conversations with the Bohra community in Pakistan, thereby highlighting both its strengths and weaknesses. We also attempt to show that criminalising khafd by conflating it with more drastic forms of cutting may be counterproductive. In conclusion, education and activism from within the community may be more fruitful than the imposition of a law banning khafd.

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