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Heartland study shows steep decline of FGM rates in Iraqi Kurdistan

10.1.2017. By Stop FGM Middle East.

A study by the Heartland Alliance in cooperation with Unicef and the High Council of Women Affairs shows a dramatic decrease in rates of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Northern Iraq when comparing mothers and daughters. Among mothers surveyed 44,8% reported to be cut compared to 10,7% of their daughters. Results also show a direct link between campaigning and decline of rates. Religion remains a major factor among those who continue the procedure on their children.


Day of Zero Tolerance: Campaign in Kurdistan in danger

Stop FGM Middle East Press Release, Suleymaniah and Berlin, February 6th 2016

After a most successful year campaigning against female genital mutilation (FGM) in Iraqi Kurdistan and many countries in the Middle East and Asia, WADI has to announce that large parts of the campaign will not continue. (more…)

Rudaw: Kurdish FGM campaign seen as global model

16.6.2015. By Judit Neurink

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – The media campaign that helped lead to the 2011 ban on female genital mutilation (FGM) in the Kurdistan Region is being looked to as an example elsewhere in the region, according to the anti-FGM activist behind the plan.

Thomas von der Osten-Sacken, general manager of the German-Iraqi NGO Wadi, told Rudaw the Kurdish FGM campaign is now being copied in neighboring Iran.

“People look now at Kurdistan as an example. Our Kurdish material is being copied into Farsi. The awareness material is translated and gets used officially. The Stop-FGM-Iran homepage is online,” he said.


Al Monitor: KRG looks to enhance protection of women, children

20.4.2015. by Mohammed Salih

ERBIL — Activists and government agencies in Iraqi Kurdistan have drafted amendments over the past few months to the autonomous region’s existing law combating domestic violence, introducing measures aimed at better protection of women’s and children’s rights. (more…)

The diversity of Kurdish women’s perspectives of female genital mutilation

6.2.2015. By Nazar Shabila. The 6th February is marked by the United Nations sponsored awareness day, International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. To commemorate this day, Nazar Shabila reveals women’s perspectives in Iraq.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is widely practiced in Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) with a prevalence of around 40%. The prevalence, in fact, varies by geographical locations ranging from 4% in Duhok governorate to 58% in Erbil governorate and 70% in some specific rural areas of Sulaymania governorate. (more…)

Deutsche Welle Persia: Cutting of female genitals

19.2.2015. The Persian program of the German Deutsche Welle recently aired a program about FGM in Iran. In the following we document parts of it (we did not translate some of the general explanations about FGM worldwide):

„The results of a survey show that 83% of women on the island Qeschm and 50% of women in Iranian Kurdistan are mutilated. The researchers are convinced that such practices are also prevalent in other parts of the country. (more…)

International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM in the Kurdistan Parliament

11.2.2015. Wadi, UNICEF and the High Councild of Women affairs launched an event about how to eliminate FGM in Kurdistan and Iraq

To mark February 6, the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, With support from UNICEF as part of Combat FGM In Iraq WADI, alongside the Women’s Affairs Committee of the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament arranged an event on February 8. (more…)

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.