Please read the following case study and answer the questions below.

Fatoumata is a woman from country M, a member of tribe B and of religion W, seeking asylum in European country X. The following is a précis of her interview with an asylum officer.

When Fatoumata was an infant, she was subjected to FGM. Her father decided that she should undergo this ritual, which is very common in country M and is also practised by other tribes.

As a child, Fatoumata’s father did not permit her to have friends. When she did not obey her father’s wishes, she was beaten. In order to be eligible to marry her wealthy cousin, she was allowed to attend school. But she was expected to help her mother with the housekeeping at all other times. Aside from attending school, neither Fatoumata nor her mother was allowed to leave the house, even for special occasions. Fatoumata’s father believed that a woman should stay at home, take care of the children and submit to her husband in all matters.

Most women in country M and tribe B are required to dress conservatively, covering their whole bodies. Fatoumata was also required to cover her face. In contrast, Fatoumata’s brothers were allowed to do almost whatever they wanted, including beating Fatoumata. They believed that a girl must obey her brothers, even those younger than her.

With the help of her teacher, Fatoumata managed to flee to the EU just days before her marriage to her cousin—a marriage arranged by her father when Fatoumata was three years old.  On arrival in the EU, Fatoumata was put in contact with an NGO working to support women victims of violence and abuse. In time, she met a man whom she wanted to marry. However, they were unable to secure a marriage licence without a certificate from her country of origin stating that she was single—a document that would only be issued with a relevant attestation by her father.

Fatoumata had two sons and a daughter with her EU-based partner, out of wedlock. After a number of years, she decided to contact her mother and tell her about her family. Hearing this, Fatoumata’s father sent her mother to the EU to bring Fatoumata back to country M to marry her cousin. Fatoumata’s mother told her that her cousin was still willing to marry her, despite her having had children with another man. Fatoumata told her mother that she did not wish to marry her cousin, believing that a woman should be able to choose her husband.

Fatoumata fears that if she returned to her country of origin, her father would demand that she circumcise her daughter. Fatoumata opposes FGM because of the continuing suffering it causes her, including severe pain when she has her period or when she has intercourse, and the difficulty she experienced giving birth to her children.

Fatoumata does not want to have her daughter circumcised, but she believes that she would be ostracised by her community if she refused. She is also afraid that she might be beaten or jailed and that her father would separate her from her daughter permanently. Fatoumata believes that she would not be able hide with her daughter in country M, as it is small, almost everyone knows each other and her family would be able to find her.

Although Fatoumata has told her mother that she opposes FGM, she believes that if she were returned to country M, she would be powerless to prevent her family subjecting her daughter to the procedure. Fatoumata also fears that if returned to country M, she would be forced to marry her cousin. Were she to marry her cousin, she fears she would be beaten if she refused to have sex with him and that the police would refuse to intervene in “family business”. Her father will not consent to her marrying her children’s father in country M, and does not consider their union to have any validity.

Please indicate if the following statements are True or False.

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