Do you know that there is an app that helps survivors of female genital mutilation/cutting? That is correct, there is! Learn about the Mumkin App.
Tell us about you and your organization.
I started as a documentary filmmaker, with my documentary A Pinch of Skin being the first documentary from India to talk about Female Genital Cutting (FGC) or Khatna as it is known in the community. I was in my early twenties when my documentary won the National award given by the President of India for the subject. For me, that had a profound personal impact. Ten years later, I am the co-founder of an international non-profit, Sahiyo, and creator and CEO of a start-up Mumkin App. I’ll talk about my start-up, the Mumkin App, here, as it is employing technology to help survivors open up on their trauma using the simulated in-app mock conversations.
How is your organization working to end female genital mutilation in the United States?
The Mumkin App helps survivors open up using simulated-in app mock conversations. Think of it as the Headspace App for survivors of FGC. Our idea is that using the Mumkin App, survivors and allies can have a mock conversation which in turn empowers people to have the correct language while opening up with their loved ones in real life.
What are the challenges and opportunities in trying to end female genital mutilation?
It is challenging for people to open up on their trauma. Most women struggle to find a safe space. Many men and women fear ostracism or other social stigma associated with openly sharing their views on abandoning the practice. I have seen many changes within the community in the last decade. Women and men from the communities have brought one of the most remarkable changes, entirely ground-up speaking about the subject openly.
At the same time, there is still a need for privacy while opening up on the taboo subject, and that’s what the Mumkin App offers. A friend, mentor, and guide to practice opening up within the privacy of one’s palm-top device.
How is the network helping you to achieve these goals and why is it important to be in the network?
The network is an essential coalition of organizations working to end FGC. Both my organizations, Mumkin App and Sahiyo, are a part of it. However, we have a long way to go. There is a genuine need to decolonize the movement against FGM/C. While the network is bringing together feminist organizations from the US and worldwide, there is a need to critically look at how race plays a vital role in building dialogue and advocacy on the subject. Needless to say, there is a huge funding gap between organizations working on the ground in countries like India and western non-profits. Coalitions such as US End FGM/C Network can help us address such gaps — standing for racial justice and equality and a feminist intervention.
We can end female genital mutilation anywhere in the world because we will have advocates from FGC practicing communities speaking up from every corner of the world, telling their own stories in their own words. The change has already begun.
You can learn more about the Mumkin App here.