Khatna: Mutilation of Women’s Rights

Deesha Vyas
SVKM’s Pravin Gandhi College of Law affiliated to Mumbai University, India

Volume III, Issue V, 2020

Violence and discrimination against women is of universal occurrence. Most violence against women is a way of asserting dominance over women. There are certain traditions, customs, practices that exist because of the indoctrinated values of patriarchy existing in our society. One such traditional practice and form of violence is Khatna, globally known as Female Genital Mutilation which violates the basic human rights of women. Khatna is the practice of removing the clitoral hood or the clitoris of a girl child to curb their sexuality. The reasoning behind the tradition of Khatna is based on deep-rooted gender stereotypes that a woman is to remain pure and chaste before marriage and are obligated to provide to sexual desires of men.  The paper presents an overview of the practice of Khatna, further analyzing the constitutional validity of the traditional practice, and in the end presents a comparative analysis of special legislations existing in other countries on Female Genital Mutilation. The paper suggests bringing into effect codified legislation banning the practice of Khatna.

Keywords: Khatna, Female Genital Mutilation, Sexual Autonomy, Fundamental Rights, Constitutional Morality, Essential Religious Practice.