THE TELEGRAPH | 04.03.2015
"If they mutilate my granddaughter? I’ll kill them’. Meet Iraqi village ending FGM
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On the fifth official International Day of Zero Tolerance to female genital mutilation (FGM)...
WADI | 02.02.2015
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as part of the ongoing campaign to eliminate FGM in Iraqi-Kurdistan. These spots will be aired by different TV stations...
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Radio feature on WADI’s efforts to improve the situation of Free FGM Villages in Iraqi-Kurdistan
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Kurdish FGM-Free Village invited to Talkshow
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A Kurdish girl's story of Female genital mutilation FGM in Iraqi Kurdistan
As we all know from news reports from the region, the people of Iraqi Kurdistan have been...
TRUST.ORG | 09.09.2014
Iraqi Kurdistan could end FGM in a generation - expert
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The Guardian | 08.09.2014
Majority in Iraqi Kurdistan oppose female genital mutilation
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stop fgm mideast | 29.07.2014
FGM in Iraq: The hoax of a hoax?
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WADI BLOG | 22.07.2014
Islamic caliphate labels female genital mutilation obligatory
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WADI | 14.07.2014
One in four women in Central and Southern Iraq is affected by Female Genital Mutilation, new study suggests
A first independent study on female genital mutilation in central/southern Iraq finds that...
HIVOS | 13.06.2014
Kurdish villages declare themselves FGM-free
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wadi | 05.06.2014
Cooperation agreement between UNICEF and WADI to combat FGM in Northern Iraq
UNICEF and WADI just signed a contract to boost the ongoing...
Gatestone Inst. | 07.05.2014
Solidarity Against Female Genital Mutilation
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stopfgmmideast | 30.04.2014
Second Middle East Conference on FGM to tackle myths
The Second Middle East & Asia Conference on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by WADI and...
opendemocracy | 14.02.2014
Embracing shame: turning honour on its head
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Continues battle against Female Genital Mutilation FGM in Iraqi Kurdistan
For many years, people have believed that practicing of female genital mutilation (FGM) is...
wadi | 05.02.2014
Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation; Action in Asia is needed
On the fourth official International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female genital mutilation (FGM), the...
RUDAW.NET | 27.01.2014
A Slow Fight for Kurdistan’s Women
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DEUTSCHE WELLE | 09.12.2013
Iraqi Kurdistan fights female circumcision
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RUDAW.NET | 29.11.2013
Kurdistan Premier: Stronger Policies Needed to Combat Gender Violence
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BBC | 07.11.2013
BBC-Documentary: Dropping the Knife; The Fight against FGM
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CPT | 04.11.2013
IRAQI KURDISTAN: WADI shifts attitudes toward Female Genital Mutilation
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AL-MONITOR | 02.11.2013
Female Circumcision Continues in Iraqi Kurdistan
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HIVOS | 27.10.2013
WADI’s ground-breaking campaign against FGM: interview
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BBC RADIO | 25.10.2013
Kurdistan's success in stemming Female Genital Mutilation
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GULFNEWS.COM | 24.10.2013
How Kurdistan ended female genital mutilation
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the guardian | 24.10.2013
FGM: the film that changed the law in Kurdistan
Two filmmakers spent almost a decade reporting the greatest taboo subject in Kurdish society...
BIOMED CENTRAL | 08.09.2013
Female genital mutilation among Iraqi Kurdish women: a cross-sectional study from Erbil city
Iraqi Kurdistan region is one of the areas where female genital...
wadi | 14.08.2013
Rate of FGM decreases in some regions of Iraqi Kurdistan
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The Independent | 31.05.2013
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CIP | 22.03.2013
The Global Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation Continues
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Kurdistantribune | 04.03.2013
Tackling Female Genital Mutilation in the Kurdistan Region
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UN Special | 06.02.2013
The long road to the first FGM-free villages in Iraq
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Iraq Updates | 17.10.2012
38% of Kirkuk Girls Are Circumcised
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Associated Press | 20.12.2012
UN unanimously calls for global ban on centuries-old practice of female genital mutilation
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Iraqi Kurdistan: Law Banning FGM Not Being Enforced
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Women's rights law no match for Kurdish tradition
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Female Circumcision Still Prevalent Among Some Kurdish Communities
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Dutch liberal MP labels Wadi’s anti FGM campaign ‘best practice’
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Iraqi human rights committee calls on Kurdish counterpart to coordinate fight against female circumcision
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Study shows: FGM common in Kirkuk
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1st ever conference on FGM in Middle East
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IRIN NEWS | 13.01.2012
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EYE SEE MEDIA | 08.11.2011
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HUDSON NEW YORK | 18.08.2011
Female Genital Mutilation "An Obligation" According to Iraqi Muslim Cleric
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Female Circumcision Prohibited Says Islamic Law Professor
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Female Genital Mutilation:
It's a crime not culture

FGM stands for »Female Genital Mutilation«, sometimes called female circumcision or female genital cutting.

FGM, as practiced in Kurdistan, is the cutting of the clitoris of girls in order to curb their sexual desire and preserve their so-called sexual honor before marriage.

The practice bears dreadful costs: some girls bleed to death or die of infection. Most are traumatized. Those who survive can suffer adverse health effects during marriage and pregnancy. The suffering of women and girls is enclosed by a wall of silence.

The mutilation is usually done to young girls aged 4 to 12 years. The operation is carried out in secret. For the girl, it is a traumatizing experience to be handed over by her own mother to the midwife for this operation.

FGM can kill

Usually, a female member of the family, a neighbour or a midwife operates the girl. The operation is done without anesthetics. Instruments are usually not sterile. The midwife cuts the clitoris and sometimes parts of the labia with a razor or a knife.

Then, she covers the bleeding wound with ash. To stop the bleeding, girls are sometimes forced to sit onto a bucket filled with icy water. Girls died as a result of this operation and many suffer their whole life from the psychological and medical consequences.

FGM is widespread in Iraqi Kurdistan

In 2004, members of female-led mobile teams run by the relief organization WADI reported the existence of FGM in several villages of the Garmyan area, south of Suleymaniah. A subsequent study revealed that about 60% were affected.

Interactive map: FGM rates in kurdish regions of Iraq

In 2010, WADI published a comprehensive scientific study, which analyzes the rates of FGM and its indicators. The FGM rate of 72.7% was even higher than preliminary findings could predict. Urban areas are turned out to be as affected as the countryside. Information on the difference provinces of Iraqi Kurdistan is available through the interactive map. The province of Duhok was not included in the survey. There is some evidence that FGM is not common in this northern region (below 10%).

In the study, there is evidence for a trend of general decline of FGM. It seems that nowadays less than 50% of the young girls are being mutilated.

The findings for Garmyan governorate are particularly problematic in several respects: here we find the highest FGM rates, the lowest levels of awareness and education, the highest illiteracy rates, and the most severe form of mutilation: not only the clitoris but also the labia are being cut. The percentage of women in this region who defend the FGM practice is much higher than in other parts of Kurdistan. The study also shows a strong correlation between a lack of education and FGM. The findings also indicate that FGM is a Sunni Muslim practice, even though occasionally some individuals from other religious communities join the “ritual”.

Lack of information assists FGM

Like everything related to sexuality, FGM is a taboo. Women suffer silently from the operation and local communities often do not consider FGM a harmful practice. Raising the awareness inside the communities and especially among the women themselves is crucial.

Lack of information is one of the many reasons for women to go on with FGM. Many believe it to be an inevitable operation for the sake of hygienic; others have been told that FGM is obligatory for Muslims.

FGM is violence against women (and girls) by women. Men are barely involved. Many do not know anything about the “ritual”. Nevertheless, one reason for the persistence of FGM is that women and girls are widely regarded as objects and as property possessed by their male relatives. FGM is a means to increase the value of a woman. Self-conscious mothers and girls who know their rights and regard themselves as subjects with individual needs and feelings are not such easy victims for mutilation and violence.


© 2013