Last week 44-year old Dr. Jumana Nagarwala was charged with genital mutilation on minor girls in the USA.
Nagarwala, who is a U.S. citizen of Indian descent born in Washington D.C., has been performing FGM on girls between the age of 6 and 8 years at the Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan for over a decade!
In 2012 the US government introduced a new federal law making FGM a crime. Nagarwala is the first person in the USA to be charged under this law.
Nagarwala is not only being accused of performing FGM, but also of transportation of an individual with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and lying to a federal agent. As a result Nagarwala, who is a part of the Dawoodi Bohra Islamlic sect, could face a life in prison. She will remain in custody until her court date.
One of the alleged girls was brought to Dr. Nagarwala after her parents promised her a "special girl's trip". Her labia minora, the flaps on either side of the vaginal opening, was removed. Her clitoral hood was also damaged, according to the criminal complaint.
Despite this evidence, Nagarwala is still denying to be involved in FGM procedures!
"I am beyond devastated. She swore an oath to save people's lives, while she was hurting our most vulnerable community members, our children! She didn't only hurt them physically, but she also took their dignity! I demand the maximum sentence for the doctor and the parents!
I ask our governments to act now.
Our community needs to wake up: FGM is happening in front of our eyes and it needs to stop NOW!" - Waris Dirie.
Over 200 million girls and women are affected by FGM worldwide, at least 513 000 of them are living in the US. Every single day a little girl is subjected to this cruel procedure. It needs to stop now! Governments need to invest in educational programmes and inform people that female genital mutilation is affecting young girls in our communities!