18.01.2015; By Haje Keli, Wadi
As the activities of WADI against Female genital mutilation (FGM) in Iraqi Kurdistan enter another year in cooperation with local organizations and supported by UNICEF and HIVOS, a number of members of the various organizations collaborating on this effort have provided some feedback after about half a year of work on the project. (more…)
By Rayehe Mozafarian, 06.08.2014
In 2010, the sentences of Shi’ite religious leaders were collected and published in “Razor and Tradition” book.
Gand Ayatollah Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani, the highest-ranking Shia (Marja’) in Iraq and the leader of the Hawza of Najaf said then: “Female Genital Cutting is not Haram” (Haram is used to refer to any act that is forbidden by Allah).
In recent years, new studies and information about FGM in Iraqi-Kurdistan, Kirkuk and some Governorates in Southern Iraq as well as other Middle Eastern countries has been collected and published, for example by the association WADI. Recent worrying news that FGM is being ordered by ISIS has thrown the media into doubt.
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:
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.
For more information contact Wadi:
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14.06.2014 By StopFGMMideast
A new report was just filed to UNCHR about the prevalence of FGM in various regions of Iran.
Some excerpts, you can download the whole document here
FGM in the Kurdish regions
The Kurdish regions of Iran include Kurdistan, Kermanshah, Ilam and south parts of western Azarbaigan province. The majority of the Kermanshah and Ilam population are Shi’as while most of the Kurds in Kurdistan and western Azerbaijan provinces are Sunnis of Shafi’i branch of Islam. Although FGM is widely practiced between Shafi’is, the practice lacks a blanket pattern. In some rural areas it is more or less done on girls, while in the neighbouring villages no one is even aware of it. For example in Kermanshah province, in the Gheshlagh village of Mansour Aghaie regions FGM is practiced, while in the Tazeh Abad of Seryas village, part of Ravansar town no case had been reported.
The point of view of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran on Female Genital Mutilation
By Rayehe Mozafarian, 07.06.2014
On his website, the Supreme Leader of the IRI, Ayatollah Khamenei presented a sentence on circumcision for both gender, female and male.
According to this sentence (Fatwa), female circumcision is not obligatory.
Dr Raslan Fadl and father of the 13-year-old girl who died during cutting are the first to be prosecuted in Egypt for practice of FGM
The Guardian, 14.03.2014
A doctor will stand trial for the first time in Egypt on charges of female genital mutilation, after a 13-year-old girl died following an alleged operation in his clinic last year.
In a landmark case, Dr Raslan Fadl is the first doctor to be prosecuted for FGM in Egypt, where the practice was banned in 2008, but is still widely accepted and carried out by many doctors in private.
Sohair al-Bata’a died in Fadl’s care in June 2013, and her family admitted that she had been victim to an FGM operation carried out at their request. (more…)
04.03.2014, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics
A Unicef official has questioned why female genital mutilation (FGM) needs to be carried out in Muslim countries.
According to Haydar Nasser, FGM is not a requirement under the Islamic faith and is actually a practice that dates back to the pharaohs.
He also noted that the Koran states that human beings were created perfectly, which further renders the procedure unnecessary.
“If a human is in a perfect way, why do we practice something that alters the body?” Mr Nasser commented.
Charity Kinya Koronya, a child protection officer at Unicef, added that in some cultures, girls are considered impure if they have not undergone FGM.
“You are stitched and not opened up until the day of your marriage,” she stated.
The World Health Organization has described FGM as a violation of the human rights of girls and women and says it is most prevalent in Africa and the Middle East.
By HIVOS and WADI; The Hague, Suleimania, 5 February, 2014.
On the fourth official International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female genital mutilation (FGM), the practice is far from being eradicated. While the numbers of mutilated girls are decreasing in Africa after decades of concerted efforts, large regions where FGM is practiced are entirely neglected in this worldwide battle. This is particularly true for Asia. The practice is widespread in Indonesia and Malaysia, it exists in Iran, Iraq, and Jordan. In several countries of the Arabian peninsula FGM is practiced by relevant parts of the population.
These countries need to make an effort to fight FGM among their population. We also call upon Indonesia and Malaysia, where the practice is legally carried out in hospitals, to ban FGM and initiate a strong campaign against it. In some Arab countries and Iran the practice is not legal in hospitals, yet governments shy away from tackling the issue. As a first step reliable studies must be conducted and a campaign initiated. In some countries authorities must stop censuring voices that talk about FGM. (more…)