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Monthly Archives: July 2014


New report: Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage in Iran

By Stop FGM Mideast, 30.07.2014

For the first time ever Iranian activists published a report based on interviews and data collections proving that Female Genital Mutilation is much more widespread in Iran than previously assumed. According to interviews done in several provinces in Northern Iran far more than 50% of females in these regions are mutiliated:


India: Ban this barbarous practice!

29.7.2014. Hindu Businessline. By RASHEEDA BHAGAT

Why condemn the ISIS alone? India’s prosperous Dawoodi Bohra community also practises female genital mutilation

There has been worldwide furore on the ISIS — which has declared an Islamic state in parts of Syria and Northern Iraq — supposedly issuing a fatwa on female genital mutilation in the areas under its occupation, particularly Mosul in Iraq. (more…)

FGM in Iraq: The hoax of a hoax?

29.7.1014. By Stop FGM Middle East

Last week a statement by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was circulating in Arab Social media calling female genital mutilation sunnah (the right path in Islam) and called on all Muslim women to have it done. A number of Western media outlets and international organizations reported this fatwa (religious ruling) thereby warning of its consequences for women and girls in the areas occupied by IS in Iraq and Syria.

A few days later this fatwa was unveiled as a hoax by several journalists with Spiegel online taking the lead. But was it really unveiled as a hoax? Most reasons brought forward are based on flawed information and misconceptions about the nature of fatwas. (more…)

Don’t leave girls under FGM threat by ISIS alone!

24.7.2014. By Stop FGM Middle East

The self-proclaimed Khalif Abubakr Baghdadi has ordered the genital mutilation of all women and girls in the area occupied by his Al Qaida-inspired organization “Islamic State in Iraq and Sham” (ISIS). The statement by ISIS says that “to protect the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, and in the fear that sin and vice propagate between men and women in our Islamic society, our lord and prince of the faithful Abu Bakr al Baghdadi has decided that in all regions of the Islamic State women must be sewn”.

According to the local UN representatitive, all girls and women between 11 are 46 in the area are now under threat of being forced to cut their clitoris facing severe health consequences and the loss of sexual happiness for life.


Syria: Islamic State ‘decrees’ infibulation for all women

23.7.2014. (ANSAmed) – BEIRUT – An unverified decree dated Monday in the Islamic State (IS), which extends from Aleppo in Syria to Mosul in Iraq, states that all women in the territory must undergo infibulation, or female genital mutilation.

The decree was allegedly made by the territory’s self-proclaimed “Caliph” Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. The decree bears the insignia of the IS in Aleppo, in the region of Azaz, north of the northern Syrian city.

The text contains a number of typographical errors, and is based on sayings attributed to the Prophet Mohammed. (more…)

Iraq: ISIS enforces female circumcision

23.7.2014. By Omar Awara. BasNews, Mosul

The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) group is asking all families in Mosul to circumcise their daughters or face severe punishment.

The Spokesman of Mosul Police Ahmed Obaydi told BasNews: “Baghdadi’s decision to have all women circumcised is, as he claims, to prevent immorality and promote Islamic attitudes among Muslims. The decision was made by Baghdadi as a ‘gift’ for people in Mosul.”


FGM Danger Threatens Girls’ Lives

National Yemen, by Asma al-Mohattwari, 30.6.2014

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a major problem in several Yemeni provinces as a social tradition, affecting millions of Yemeni girls. Some Yemenis even celebrate the practice, arguing that it is for their happiness and security, while ignoring the negative effects. […]

The Yemeni Women’s Union estimates that almost 20% of Yemeni girls experience FGM, mostly in rural areas. It varies significantly. Nearly 96% of women have undergone FGM in Hodeidah, Hadramout, and al-Mahra, while in Aden it is 8%.

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“But it only happens in Africa!”

 Model Governance, by Riddhima Sharma, 12.7.2014

One might think that this is [FGM] prevalent only in Africa, but little do we know that this is one of India’s best kept secrets. It very much exists in India. It is largely practised by the Islamic Shia-Muslim Dawoodi Bohra community, a million strong sect prevalent in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.[3] They are also present in Pakistan. […] More than a thousand Bohra women have been campaigning against FGM since the last couple of years. They have made their voices heard in the internet arena. But this is only the beginning, as the religious framework in a country like India is beyond rigid. FGM speaks volumes about our society, our legal system and the attitudes of the people of this country. FGM is more of a relevant and a contemporary issue now more than ever.

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One in four women in Central and Southern Iraq is affected by Female Genital Mutilation, new study suggests

By Wadi, 14.07.2014

 A first independent study on female genital mutilation in central/southern Iraq finds that 25% of the women in these regions were subjected to this practice.

 The study was conducted in early 2014 in cooperation between physicians, women’s rights and civil society organizations. The researchers’ identities remain undisclosed due to securitiy concerns.

 500 women in Wasit province and 500 women in Qadisyiah province were sampled for the study. The data collected suggests that most women are subjected to FGM in childhood, especially before the age of 10. The most often cited reasons for the practice are religious belief, cultural heritage and tradition; it is most commonly performed by a nurse or a midwife.

 In light of the challenging security situation and social circumstances under which the study was conducted, the results are to be taken as preliminary indicators urgently demanding further research. Data presented by UNICEF last year suggested that FGM is almost inexistent in southern and central Iraq. The new findings cast considerable doubt on this conclusion and are calling for further thorough investigations.

 Female genital mutilation is a grave human rights violation and a form of violence against women according to the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women. Its eradication is explicitly recommended by the international bodies for women’s rights.

 The new study contributes to groundbreaking research work on the prevalence of FGM in the Middle East. Until recently official data claimed that FGM did not exist in the Middle East and was in general “an African problem”. In 2009 the German-Iraqi association WADI conducted the first comprehensive area-wide research on FGM in Iraq’s Kurdish provinces which found an alarming prevalence rate of 72%. A similar study conducted in Kirkuk (Northern Iraq) in 2012 revealed a 38% prevalence and gave irrefutable evidence that FGM is not restricted to the Kurdish areas.

Subsequently, the Stop FGM Middle East campaign was launched. It has made many efforts to uncover the true prevalence of the practice across Iraq, the region, and in other parts of Asia.

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Anti-FGM activists compromise in the face of cultural obstacles

Daily News Egypt, Marwa Morgan,10.7.2014

The Egyptian Association for Comprehensive Development (EACD) is ardently opposed to female genital mutilation, a traditional practice of cutting a girl’s genitalia to ensure chastity.  But when it sends doctors to speak to low-income Egyptians about the risks of getting their daughters circumcised, the nonprofit dances around the issue.

“We can’t tell people that FGM should be totally avoided,” said Abeer Hamdy, the NGO’s media officer. “It is so embedded in the culture.”

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