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ROSITAV.COM | 2.2009 original text

Genital mutilation of Southern Kurdistan (Iraq)

Part 2

With the genital mutilation of girls at an early age is to control the future of women's feelings and sex drive. Their view of women is degrading. Women should be a property, and only to satisfy the man. The woman's dreams of love will not be an issue. Without thinking about the difficult physical and psychological consequences puts still with female genital mutilation.

The report consists of statistics of the affected areas, the victims' comments and interviews with various organizations.
The purpose of this report series is to arouse a debate issue of genital mutilation in Southern Kurdistan (Iraq). We are asking the Kurdistan Regional Government - KRG to immediately put a total end to female genital mutilation. Laws must be enacted against female genital mutilation and the guilty must be prosecuted and punished. For a systematic monitoring, a supervisory authority is organized.

In the second part of our report publishing we have two interviews:

At one interview said the persons responsible for the organization Wadi Thomas v. der Osten-Sacken and Arvid Vormann our questions. In the second interview, women accounted Wadi project manager in Southern Kurdistan Suaad Abdul Rahman to our questions.
Organization Wadi eV "für Krisenhilfe und solidarische Entwicklungszusammenarbeit" has its headquarters in Frankfurt, and in Kurdistan. Wadi working on many important issues. Among children and women's rights, and improving prisoners' situation in Kurdistan. Wadi informs the public about women and children, and trains the Kurds on the issue.

We are very grateful for wadis cooperation and kindness.


Wadi: "It's a long way to eliminate female genital mutilation in Kurdistan"

Interview: Gabar Çiyan / Zarathustra News

Who is Tomas and what is your purpose?
WADI was founded in 1991 by several people who, in the aftermath of the second Gulf war, were involved in projects in Iraq and Iraqi-Kurdistan. Thomas was one of them. He was still a student at that time, working for some Christian relief projects in southern Iraq. There he saw the barbaric reality of this country but he also realized opportunities to change things. These opportunities were more given in Iraqi-Kurdistan where the first WADI projects were launched in 1993.
WADI's concept developed gradually during that time. The idea was to combine practical help with political work (in Europe and Middle East) and a clear political position. WADI criticized vigorously the restrictive German asylum policy vis-à-vis the refugees from Iraq and the Middle East. And WADI strived for the promotion of freedom and democracy in the Middle East which is dominated by dictatorships. The WADI crew was convinced that for the democratization process, an open society is a precondition. In order to change society in this way, WADI's goal was to support the oppressed and give a voice to the voiceless. The main groups WADI focused on were women, children and prisoners.
During the last 16 years, WADI maintained several women's shelters for victims of domestic violence and women threatened by honor killing. WADI organized literacy courses and vocational courses for women. WADI helped to establish community radio stations. And, in 2004, WADI discovered female genital mutilation (FGM) in Kurdistan. Since then, WADI undertook many efforts to abolish this practice: a public campaign against FGM, a political campaign for the parliament to declare FGM a punishable act, and information and education on the ground by WADI's mobile teams.

How often occur on the genital mutilation of girls in Kurdistan?
Concerning the prevalence of FGM, please refer to our interactive map on the Stop FGM in Kurdistan website.

How to fix the problem?
Good question! But we are quite optimistic. Our work is already bearing fruits. We were able to change a lot in Kurdistan. In 2004, people told us you cannot talk about FGM, otherwise you will be dead. But Kurdish society proved to be mature enough to cope with this topic. Nowadays, there is lots of talking about it on the media. Recently, even the government showed growing interest in dealing with the issue. The mobile teams report that many villages have already abandoned FGM as a result of education. Today, thanks to the media, more and more villagers are already familiar with the idea of FGM being a harmful practice. So, we are getting increasing support and Kurdish people seem to be ready to abandon the practice. Nevertheless, it is still a very long way. Hopefully, the government will take over some responsibility in fighting FGM.


Suaad Abdul Rahman: “Because of genital mutilation is almost 60% of women and girls injured in Kurdistan”

Interview: Gabar Çiyan / Zarathustra News

Who is Suaad Abdul Rahman? What issues are you working with?
Suaad is working in the city of Suleymaniye as women's project coordinator in the organization Wadi. She has a very long experience of working with women in rural areas and cities. Wadi is one of the two founders of StopFGMCampaign and since then very active in the fight against genital mutilation.

Why you started "Stop FGM in Kurdistan"?
In the year 2004 one of the Mobile lead female teams, working for the Wadi, discovered that genital mutilation is very widespread in the Germian Region of Kurdistan. We did not know the extent to which it was in. So together we decided to start this campaign.
The support of Kurdish persons and organisations from abroad since then became stronger.

Is the matter so serious in Kurdistan? What expectations do you have the KRG?
The issue is very serious. Because of genital mutilation are almost 60% of women and girls injured. Even today, young girls still suffer from it.
We expect the KRG fights genital mutilation in a very high degree. The question must be raised in Parliament and Parliament must carry out a law against it.
We need support from all organizations, be they governmental or non-state to stop this barbaric method in practice.