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Foreign Affairs: Under the Knife

27.7.2015. By Christina Asquith

Grading Iraqi Kurdistan’s Progress Against Female Genital Mutilation

Last month, Nigeria became the most recent African country to formally ban female genital mutilation, a barbaric practice performed on 150 million girls across the world. The move was cheered around the globe, but the celebration was tinged with some reservation. Realistically, most recognize, a piece of paper issued in parliament isn’t enough to combat a deeply rooted tradition stretching back thousands of years. Indeed, although the law “is a major boost not only for Nigeria’s women, but for the nation as a whole,” Stella Mukasa of the International Center for Research on Women told me, “The question is: Will it make a practical difference?”

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New religious opinions in Iran reject FGM

16.7.2015. The Iranian psychologist Osman Mahmoudi has collected the opinions of different theologists concerning female circumcision. Basing his arguments on these references he discussed with religious leaders in his predominantly Sunni hometown Javanrod in the Iranian province of Kermanshe about FGM. While before several mullahs had defended the practice as a religious necessity it now turned out that a significant number opposed it or at least saw no connection to Islam. (more…)

Global Post: ‘I hate it. It hurts’ — Egyptian women talk about sex after female genital mutilation

16.7.2015. By Laura Dean. CAIRO, Egypt — In a small hall in central Cairo, a group of women are gathered around talking about sex.

All of them have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), a procedure that usually causes the victim to take little if any pleasure in sexual intercourse. And many report a familiar problem in the bedroom: “borouda” — a word that translates to the English “frigidity” in bed. (more…)

Why is there little interest in FGM in Asia on the FFD conference in Addis?

15.7.2015. By Hannah Wettig

Thanks to Orchid Project I was able to present the campaign against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Iraqi Kurdistan and Asia at the side event of the conference on Financing for Development (FFD) in Addis Ababa. The panel on “Ending Female Genital Cutting” on Monday morning brought together people of quite different experiences. While Sister Fa reported how she supports education about FGM in her home country Senegal with money she collects herself, Domtila Chesang spoke about the village where she is from in Kenia. She decided to become an Anti-FGM activist when she saw the mutilation of her cousin and was terrified. Without support of her family she was still able to get an education at a near-by boarding school and is now happy to be supported by a broad coalition against FGM in Africa. This broad coalition was represented by Susan Bissell from Unicef who was proud to talk about the successes in Africa in the last couple years. David Hallam, director for international relations at the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID) said he wished they weren’t the biggest donor, because others should invest lots too, but he also mentioned Norway’s large investment.

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News from Iran: Vice president for women affairs issued a program against FGM

10.7.2015. The Iranian vice president in women and family affairs issued a program against FGM in Iran. This program, submitted by Rayeheh Mozaffarian to this governmental section, has been approved and will be implied after allocating the needed resources and facilities.

“Developing an action against the procedures which are jeopardizing the health and well-being of girls under 18 and presenting a proposal to promote the legal system of the country in preserving the benefits of minors are some of this program’s plans” said Dr. Sussan Bastani, deputy of strategic studies in the presidential section for women and family affairs in Iran.

According to the definitions commonly presented by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against women and the Committee of Children’s Rights, the harmful procedures are the traditional practices that are described by social and cultural norms.  FGM, early and forced marriage are some of the examples of these named practices which have been diminished gradually through a number of activities.

We should keep it in our mind that even one victim is too much.