BASNEWS | 04.06.2017
Female Circumcisions or Female Genital Mutilation in Kurdistan
Circumcision is defined as cutting of female external genitalia which is carried out by traditional...
WEEKLY STANDARD | 17.06.2015
Confronting FGM in Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan
Female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) exists in the Islamic Republic of Iran even...
stopfgmmideast | 20.05.2015
Campaign in Iraqi Kurdistan: Paying a visit to a Mullah who promoted FGM
The shock was great when the Iraqi Kurdish Xelk Media Network reported about a Kurdish Mullah...
THE TELEGRAPH | 04.03.2015
"If they mutilate my granddaughter? I’ll kill them’. Meet Iraqi village ending FGM
Amirah vividly recalls the day she was taken into a bathroom by the village midwife and forced to...
biomedcentral | 06.02.2015
The diversity of Kurdish women’s perspectives of female genital mutilation
The 6th February is marked by the United Nations sponsored awareness day, International...
WADI | 10.02.2015
International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM in the Kurdistan Parliament
Wadi, UNICEF and the High Council of Women Affairs launched an event about how...
stopfgmmideast | 05.02.2015
Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM: We need more campaigns in Asia
On the fifth official International Day of Zero Tolerance to female genital mutilation (FGM)...
WADI | 02.02.2015
Four new TV-spots Wadi has produced supported by UNICEF
as part of the ongoing campaign to eliminate FGM in Iraqi-Kurdistan. These spots will be aired by different TV stations...
Female Genital Mutilation a Growing Problem in Iran
The hideous practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) is neither an exclusively Muslim nor a...
ORCHIDPROJECT | 17.12.2014
KMEWO Event on FGC
On November 13th 2014, the Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women Organisation (KMEWO)...
WADI | 09.12.2014
Radio feature on WADI’s efforts to improve the situation of Free FGM Villages in Iraqi-Kurdistan
“Fichar” program at Radio Deng, an independent Radio station in Kalar, did a feature on WADI as...
WADI | 03.12.2014
Kurdish FGM-Free Village invited to Talkshow
Kurdistan's first FGM-free village as talk show guests on 'Binewshe" (KurdSat TV) to... | 18.10.2014
A Kurdish girl's story of Female genital mutilation FGM in Iraqi Kurdistan
As we all know from news reports from the region, the people of Iraqi Kurdistan have been...
TRUST.ORG | 09.09.2014
Iraqi Kurdistan could end FGM in a generation - expert
Female genital mutilation could be eradicated in Iraqi Kurdistan within a generation, a U.N...
The Guardian | 08.09.2014
Majority in Iraqi Kurdistan oppose female genital mutilation
Survey reveals widespread knowledge of FGM's dangers, with 68% of people saying it...
stop fgm mideast | 29.07.2014
FGM in Iraq: The hoax of a hoax?
Last week a statement by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was circulating in Arab...
WADI BLOG | 22.07.2014
Islamic caliphate labels female genital mutilation obligatory
Recently the Islamic state issued a fatwa which called female genital mutilation a religious...
WADI | 14.07.2014
One in four women in Central and Southern Iraq is affected by Female Genital Mutilation, new study suggests
A first independent study on female genital mutilation in central/southern Iraq finds that...
HIVOS | 13.06.2014
Kurdish villages declare themselves FGM-free
For ten years, Hivos partner WADI has been campaigning against female genital...
wadi | 05.06.2014
Cooperation agreement between UNICEF and WADI to combat FGM in Northern Iraq
UNICEF and WADI just signed a contract to boost the ongoing...
Gatestone Inst. | 07.05.2014
Solidarity Against Female Genital Mutilation
"No victim files charges against her own parents." — Rayeyeh Mozafarian, University of Shiraz...
stopfgmmideast | 30.04.2014
Second Middle East Conference on FGM to tackle myths
The Second Middle East & Asia Conference on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by WADI and...
opendemocracy | 14.02.2014
Embracing shame: turning honour on its head
The challenge that embracing shame poses to the longstanding perversion of honour, is the... | 10.02.2014
Continues battle against Female Genital Mutilation FGM in Iraqi Kurdistan
For many years, people have believed that practicing of female genital mutilation (FGM) is...
wadi | 05.02.2014
Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation; Action in Asia is needed
On the fourth official International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female genital mutilation (FGM), the...
RUDAW.NET | 27.01.2014
A Slow Fight for Kurdistan’s Women
“It is like digging a well with a fingernail. Our work is very slow. But we did make progress.”
DEUTSCHE WELLE | 09.12.2013
Iraqi Kurdistan fights female circumcision
Female circumcision is slowly declining in Iraqi Kurdistan. Years of campaigning and a law...
RUDAW.NET | 29.11.2013
Kurdistan Premier: Stronger Policies Needed to Combat Gender Violence
Two years ago the KRG passed a law banning violence against women including genital...
BBC | 07.11.2013
BBC-Documentary: Dropping the Knife; The Fight against FGM
A BBC-Documentary: Dropping the knife; the fight against FGM...
CPT | 04.11.2013
IRAQI KURDISTAN: WADI shifts attitudes toward Female Genital Mutilation
On 30 October 2013, CPT’s partner organization, WADI Iraq office, organized a press...
AL-MONITOR | 02.11.2013
Female Circumcision Continues in Iraqi Kurdistan
Despite the efforts of Kurdish civil society organizations and the media to shed light on the...
HIVOS | 27.10.2013
WADI’s ground-breaking campaign against FGM: interview
Falah Moradhkin is WADI’s project coordinator in Iraq. He was one of the few who survived a...
BBC RADIO | 25.10.2013
Kurdistan's success in stemming Female Genital Mutilation
Kurdistan is one of Iraq's rare success stories, the region has enjoyed an oil boom and...
GULFNEWS.COM | 24.10.2013
How Kurdistan ended female genital mutilation
Two years ago, FGM was banned as part of a wide-ranging law to improve women’s rights...
the guardian | 24.10.2013
FGM: the film that changed the law in Kurdistan
Two filmmakers spent almost a decade reporting the greatest taboo subject in Kurdish society...
BIOMED CENTRAL | 08.09.2013
Female genital mutilation among Iraqi Kurdish women: a cross-sectional study from Erbil city
Iraqi Kurdistan region is one of the areas where female genital...
wadi | 14.08.2013
Rate of FGM decreases in some regions of Iraqi Kurdistan
The British MP Gary Kent has traveled again to Iraqi-Kurdistan and recently wrote an article...
The Independent | 31.05.2013
Fighting against Female Genital Mutilation in Iraq
It is a misguided belief that Islam requires young women be circumcised...
CIP | 22.03.2013
The Global Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation Continues
A global campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation [FGM], often misnamed "female...
Kurdistantribune | 04.03.2013
Tackling Female Genital Mutilation in the Kurdistan Region
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is defined by the Word Health Organization (WHO) as...
UN Special | 06.02.2013
The long road to the first FGM-free villages in Iraq
According to a large survey conducted in 2009, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is...




WADI | 08.2008 original text

Debate about Female Genital Mutilation in Kurdish Newspaper

The independent Kurdish Newspaper Hawlati ( published recently some articles debating Female Genital Mutilation in Iraqi-Kurdistan. This debate shows that a taboo was broken and now people do publicly criticize and defend this practice, which was before done secretly. Here are some excerpts of this highly interesting debate.

On August 28th Falah Muradkhin, the co-ordinator of Wadi in Iraq, published an article summarizing the various findings of WADI’s research and activities.

He writes in the article titled: “In Iraqi Kurdistan 62% of women female are mutilated”:

According to WADI’s statistics in 201 villages 3502 of 5628 women and girls in Iraqi Kurdistan were mutilated. Wadi interviewed women in Dohok Sulaimanyah, Arbil, Garmyan and part of Kirkuk Governorate.

Medically, psychologically and form human rights’ point of view, FGM is one of the main forms of violence against women. It is true that FGM existed before Islam, but at present FGM is a major problem in most of Islamic societies, a fact that yet to be recognized. Most Islamic countries are not on the map of regions practising FGM because their governments deny it.

Before WADI started this wide campaign FGM had not been discussed in Iraqi Kurdistan, thus initiating this campaign meant taking a serious risk. Last year WADI started a media campaign and collected signatures to lobby for a law against FGM. It also organized various Radio and TV programs.

In 2007 WADI started a scientific research about FGM in 198 places in Iraqi Kurdistan. Questionnaires were distributed by 6 mobile female teams. 1836 questionnaires were filled out and are now being analyzed.

This campaign was accepted by the parliament and 68 parliamentarians signed the draft of the law which was supported by WADI.

This campaign has a special internet site (

See the whole article in Kurdish:

Mr. Muradkhin got support from the General Secretary of the Islamic Women Union Mrs. Bekhal Abu Bakr, who published an article in the next edition of Hawlati, strongly making the point, that FGM is not an Islamic practice. “Islam is against FGM”:

Women problems are mainly the result of bad traditions the religion is not responsible for. The clean law of Sharia of Islam is far from problems like forced marriage and other forms of oppression of women. Problems like Female Genital Mutilation or Polygamy mainly exist because some people interpret Koran in a different and false way.

It is a pity that some people do not have enough information about the religion of Islam and as a consequence declare that Islam would not guarantee equal rights for women. But according to our knowledge Islam considers male and female as equals who complete each other.

We also did scientific religious researches about the problem of FGM and we are fully aware of its bad effects. Therefore, we also prepared a draft for a law banning it in Kurdistan and submitted it to the parliament.

See the whole article here in Kurdish:

Both articles deeply upset one of the leading Islamic clerics in Northern Iraq, Mr Bawke Hareth. In response he published an article, strongly defending Female Genital Mutilation as an Islamic practice. In this article “Islam is with Circumcision” the cleric rejects even the positions laid down by an Al Azhar University fatwa, banning FGM:

"I was surprised when I read that one of the Islamic sisters mentioned that Islam is opposing FGM and polygamy! I will answer her because her statements are against Islam and against the way we want our society to be.

Our prophet Mohammad (God bless him) said: You need to do the following things: circumcision, cutting your nails and your moustache.

This Hadeth is accepted by the majority of Muslims. Once upon a time a non-believer converted to Islam and Muhammad asked him immediately to circumcise himself. We belong to the Abrahamite family and circumcision is approved by Abraham and he was even 80 years old when he circumcised himself.

There is no difference between males and females and both are asked by their God to circumcise and there many articles in Quran prove this.

Also in Hadeth number 1261 and 722, you find many evidence that Islam supports circumcision of girls.

The whole article in Kurdish:

In September Falah Murakhin answered this cleric in another article:

“In Ranya region out of a total of 1733 women 1645 were mutilated. In some areas of Iraqi Kurdistan the rate of FGM is even higher than in some of African countries.”

It is a shame that the rate of FGM in some areas of Iraqi Kurdistan is higher than in African countries and the Kurdish government is not able to react accordingly. Although we published detailed evidence and data about this problem, many officials and people still keep silent. And then we read in Hawlati newspaper the article of Cleric Bawke Hareth, who openly calls to continue practicing FGM in Kurdistan. Other Islamic Mullahs issued fatwas to show that FGM is not a problem of Islam like the fatwa from Al Azhar University from November 2006 (the newspaper published a copy of this fatwa). The difference between them and Bawki Harth is that he admits openly that FGM is not only connected to Islam but required by it.

This is why we ask the Kurdish parliament and government to react fast. The problem of FGM in Kurdistan is now widely known, the data is published in the international press and most of international NGOs are aware of this problem and it is useless to try to continue hiding it.

From our side, as always we participate in publishing data about this problem because we want everybody to know about it. Therefore we now publish in this article new data, which our team members collected in Ranya region in 25 secondary girl-schools. Out of 1733 they spoke with, 1645 (!) were mutilated. This number is higher than the rate of FGM in some African countries. But the difference between us and them is that they fight FGM by issuing laws and with support international organizations.”

The whole article in Kurdish: