Gov't Urges Islamic Clerics to Help Prevent Female Genital Mutilation

Arfi Bambani
The II Islamic Boarding School Ulemas Conference
The II Islamic Boarding School Ulemas Conference - The Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection of Indonesia has urged ulemas of Islamic boarding schools to build commitment toward preventing female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).

"The practice of FGM/C is a form of gender-based violence that is often carried out because it has become a doctrine or culture passed down from generation to generation in society," Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Bintang Puspayoga said in a press release issued here on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

The practice of FGM/C that has developed to this day is not based on medical indications and has not been proven to be beneficial for health, she stressed.

At the II Islamic Boarding School Ulemas Conference, ulemas discussed making recommendations for the benefit of all parties, especially women, as they are the ones affected by the practice, she informed.

According to the minister, ulemas can play a crucial role in helping eradicate FGM/C in the country as well as correcting the wrong views possessed by the community.

From the perspective of women's essential justice, there are different implications for women and men in terms of circumcision, a postgraduate lecturer at the University of Al-Quran Science (PTIQ), Nur Rofiah, explained.

Physically, women have 29 potential biological impacts from having sex, from a change in the shape of the hymen to breastfeeding for two years while men only feel one effect, namely the release of sperm, she expounded.

"The concept of essential justice is crucial to be considered in order to realize the common good for both men and women," Rofiah remarked.

The II Islamic Boarding School Ulemas Conference is expected to produce more robust recommendations on building ulemas' commitment to preventing female genital mutilation/cutting.

A recent report by the United National Children’s Fund revealed around 60 million women, or half of the women in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim majority, are estimated to have undergone FGM. Traditional “circumcisers” have long carried out the practice, known as female khitan or sunat perempuan in Indonesia. Many maternity clinics now offer the procedure as part of a birth delivery package, done soon after labour, without additional charges.

Tag # female genital mutilation # women's rights # human rights # indonesia

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