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Yearly Archives: 2014


Orchid Project: FGC in Iraqi Kurdistan

22.12.2014. by Orchid. On November 13th 2014, the Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women Organisation (KMEWO) held an event to promote their campaign titled ‘The Campaign: Stop FGM in Iraqi Kurdistan’. The event was held in correspondence with their annual general meeting, as KMEWO  sought to bring together an array of people to discuss FGC in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Active since 1999, KMEWO seeks to promote issues that affect women, in particular regarding FGC; child and early forced marriage; honour killings, and domestic violence. They provide advice, hold education courses to teach women English and human rights, advocate to the government through lobbying and campaigning, and hold FGC awareness workshops across London. ‘The Campaign: Stop FGM in Iraqi Kurdistan’ is therefore only a branch of KMEWO’s work, however in the era of growing knowledge and awareness to FGC, they have decided to focus on gaining a deeper understanding of the practice. They subsequently held this event to share their knowledge and actively promote discussions on FGC in Iraqi-Kurdistan.


Iranian Film tackles Female Genital Mutilation

15.12.2014. By Stop FGM Middle East. The short film “Almond” tells the story of Awat a young Kurdish woman in Iran who is struggling with the consequences of female genital mutilation (FGM). When she has to marry, she stops talking entirely which soon becomes the main subject of the village talk. The director Mokhtar Masoumian spent six months to collect information about FGM in Iran, consulting and taking advice from experts and spend over 16 thousand dollars personally to realize the project. (more…)

FGM in Iran: Blade of Islam or patriarchal custom – an interview with scholars, activists and survivors

4.12.2014. by Stop FGM Middle East. The Iranian “Radio Farda” aired a 30-minutes special on female genital mutilation (FGM) happening in Iran on November 25th. It is the first time, that a radio in Iran tackles this topic and the journalist Roja Karimi Majd does so with great insight and her interviewees answer in remarkable openness. A mother who feels incredibly sad she had let this happen to her daughter says: “It ruins the life of people. Most divorces are because if this. Couples hate each other.” Her daughter talks about the effect it had on her last relationship: “When intercourse happened I could not show any reaction, I was cold. In the end my partner thought that he was the problem and this is how our relationship broke up.” The sociologist Rayehe Mozafarian explains why she calls it the blade of Islam while the activist Parvin Zabihi sees patriarchal society at the root.


Kurdish FGM-Free Village invited to Talkshow

3.12.14. By Haje Keli. Kurdistan’s first FGM-free village as talk show guests on ‘Binewshe” (KurdSat TV) to discuss the village’s commitment to ending FGM.

As a part of WADI’s Stop FGM campaign, the village of Tutaqal vowed to end FGM among their inhabitants. This week WADI was invited to appear on the very popular TV-show ‘Binewshe’ as part of the awareness around the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25). Instead of inviting “experts” and doctors Ms Suad Abdolrahman, head of Women’s Projects at WADI thought it was more rewarding to invite the villagers of Tutaqal as guests on the show as they can better relay their message of why it was important to end FGM in their village. (more…)

Egypt’s first female genital mutilation trial ends in not guilty verdict

The Guadian, 20.11.2014. The first doctor to be brought to trial in Egypt on charges of female genital mutilation (FGM) has been acquitted, crushing hopes that the landmark verdict would discourage Egyptian doctors from conducting the endemic practice.

Raslan Fadl, a doctor and Islamic preacher in the village of Agga, northern Egypt, was acquitted of mutilating Sohair al-Bata’a in June 2013. The 12-year-old died during the alleged procedure, but Fadl was also acquitted of her manslaughter.

No reason was given by the judge, with the verdict being simply scrawled in a court ledger, rather than being announced in the Agga courtroom.

Sohair’s father, Mohamed al-Bata’a, was also acquitted of responsibility. Police and health officials testified that the child’s parents had admitted taking their daughter to Fadl’s clinic for the procedure.

Despite his acquittal, the doctor was ordered to pay 5,001 Egyptian pounds (about £450) to Sohair’s mother for her daughter’s manslaughter, after the pair reached an out-of-court settlement.

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Revisiting Reza Aslan’s response to Bill Maher about female genital mutilation

21.10.2014. After Reza Aslan called FGM an African Problem, Stop FGM Middle East contacted PunditFact to set things straight. Here is their clarification:

“Hannah Wettig, who manages the Stop FGM Middle East campaign for Germany-based nonprofit WADI and Hivos, pushes back on the notion of FGM as an “African problem” and criticized UNICEF’s reliance on national survey data. For one, she said, Middle Eastern women may be more reluctant to admit they have been through the procedure, as it’s more secretive than the public rite of passage in some African countries. In addition to Iraq and Yemen, Wettig said it happens in Asian countries that include Oman, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Maldives and the Philippines.”

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A Kurdish girl’s story of Female genital mutilation FGM in Iraqi Kurdistan

October 18, 2014. SLÊMANÎ, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— As we all know from news reports from the region, the people of Iraqi Kurdistan have been facing great threats and hardships for many years and are currently on the frontline of the fight against ISIS (also known as the Islamic State). However there is another, covert threat facing Kurdish women, many of whom undergo female genital mutilation (FGM).

This summer 28 Too Many volunteer, Nigeen Akram, returned to Iraqi Kurdistan determined to learn more about this secretive practice and how it affects the lives of Kurdish women. In this blog she tells the powerful story of one of these women and we share it on Blog Action Day 2014 to highlight this secretive practice and support those fighting to end FGM in Kurdistan. (more…)

Elimination of FGM in one generation possible – After 9 years campaigning 70% oppose practice in Iraqi Kurdistan

15.9,2014. By Stop FGM Middle East. Only ten years ago, female genital mutilation (FGM) in Iraq was a non-topic. Outside Iraq hardly anybody had heard of it, in the country itself it was well hidden within communities. Nine years ago, WADI started a comprehensive campaign against the practice in the Kurdish region of Iraq with unprecendented success. Today, the vast majority of people know of the harmful effects of FGM and want the practice to stop as a new study shows. Mutilation rates have dropped significantly in this very short time period. This gives hope that FGM can be eradicated in the Middle East and Asia within one generation if campaigns are launched. (more…)

Iraq Business-News: First-Ever Survey of FGM in Northern Iraq

9.9.2014. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) High Council of Women’s Affairs (HCWA) together with UNICEF, Heartland Alliance International, and Wadi, and in collaboration with UN Women and UNFPA, released this week results of a first-ever ‘knowledge, attitudes and practices’ (KAP) survey on the root causes of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I) and convened a conference to share vital information and recommendations to fully eliminate the practice from the region. (more…)

Popular Saudi Sheikh Alarefe warns of the way FGM is done

6.8.2014. By Stop FGM Middle East.

Responding to a question by a caller on his Youtube program, the Saudi Sheikh Mohammad Al Arefe warned of female genital mutilation saying: “Today it’s chaos, women who do it are not experts and they ruin the girls’ vagina and impact her adult life… if we need to do it, it should be done by a doctor or else it shouldn’t be done at all (…)”. He also distanced himself from the strict Shafa’i interpretation which sees FGM as a must and he questioned the strength of the Hadith which calls FGM a good deed: “because it has been proven that it is not a good deed, and it was a habit done by Arabs pre Islam.” (more…)