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...
WEEKLYSTANDARD | 20.01.2015
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...
ekurd.net | 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...
ekurd.net | 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...

 

 

 

 


ORCHIDPROJECT | 17.12.2014. original text

KMEWO Event on FGC

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.

FGC in Iraqi Kurdistan has long been a taboo, however a multitude of organisations have brought the issue into the public domain, which subsequently led to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq and UNICEF’s involvement. In 2011, the Kurdistan Regional Government (the official ruling body of the predominantly Kurdish region of Northern Iraq) adopted a comprehensive law against FGC and many other forms of violence against women and children. Whilst this was a landmark bill, it is seldom implemented and therefore KMEWO is now focusing on the implementation of the law in Iraqi Kurdistan. The outline above was given as an introduction to the event, and was followed by the screening of the BBC documentary ‘A Handful of Ash’.

A ‘Handful of Ash’ documents many women and girls in rural Iraqi-Kurdistan who have either undergone or avoided FGC. It was made by filmmaker Nabaz Ahmed from 2004 to 2011, and only shows a particular vision of Kurdistan through filming primarily in the barren desert and with the poorest of the population. Despite this, the film does reveal many things about Iraqi Kurdistan that were perhaps unknown prior to the release of the documentary; and therefore whilst it has its flaws, the documentary is informative. Central to the film was the emphasis on facts, such as how the majority of Kurdish girls are cut before the age of 5 and how in Iraqi Kurdistan the people call FGC ‘hatana’ rather than cutting. The central reason that seeks to justify FGC in Iraqi Kurdistan is religion, as they believe that the Koran indicates that girls must be pure and clean, and this is achieved through ‘hatana’. The film closes with a discussion of the law in Iraqi Kurdistan, and how only one person has been taken to court with this law. FGC is now no longer a taboo in Iraqi Kurdistan, but people seldom talk publicly about FGC as they fear being prosecuted.

After the film, KMEWO introduced their special guest, Falah Shakaram. Falah currently works as the Association for Crisis Assistance & Solidarity Development Co-operation for WADI, a joint Iraqi-German initiative in Kurdistan. He is a leading member of the anti-FGC campaign in Iraqi Kurdistan, and at present focuses the majority of his time managing a women’s shelter and a radio station for women and the youth. Falah discussed the history of WADI’s research in Iraqi Kurdistan and their many challenges in both undertaking and publishing their research. Falah finished his presentation with a picture of his daughter, and claimed the central reason he has tried so hard to abandon FGC in Iraqi Kurdistan is so his daughter does not have to undergo it. Naturally this touched everyone in the room, and really emphasised the personal commitment Falah has to FGC, and the consequences of FGC.

Falah at Orchid Project

The event then closed with the introduction of lunch, and Falah made his way to the Orchid office for a meeting with us to discuss WADI’s work and future projects by Orchid and WADI. It was good to speak to Falah, and at the office he delved further into the challenges he faces as a researcher, a lawyer and a father in Iraqi Kurdistan through his active campaigning, and how this does not deter him from pursuing the dream of an FGC-free Iraqi Kurdistan state. However, despite the challenges of hostility, with Falah’s enthusiasm and effective community empowerment programmes we all believe an FGC-free Iraqi Kurdistan is absolutely possible.

Iraqi Kurdistan at the FOKO event in Copenhagen

In addition to the KMEWO event, FGC in Iraqi Kurdistan was mentioned at the bi-Annual FOKO meeting held in Copenhagen on November 12th; where Vanja Berggren and Bayan Nasih, from Lӓnsstyrelsen Ӧstergӧtland, presented on the Swedish government’s mission to elucidate FGC in Sweden from the perspective of the girl child and the youth. During their research they conducted field trips to different countries and among these was Iraqi Kurdistan. Vanja presented on her visit to WADI and Bayan, also of Kurdish origin, spoke of the practice in Kurdistan and her experience with FGC in Kurdish communities in Sweden.

Another study on Kurdish migrants presented at the FOKO meeting was conducted by Mimmi Kokkula, a BA student from Tampere University, Finland, and was presented by Reija Klemetti. The study on FGC among women of Somali and Kurdish origin in 2010-2012 in Finland found that the prevalence rate of FGC was 30% among Kurdish women. The study found that FGC in Finland was more common than previously estimated, especially in regards to women of Kurdish origin. Their sample included 224 Kurdish women that were randomly selected from the National Population Register and the data was taken from the Migrant Health and Wellbeing Study. The Finnish population of 5.4 million is pretty homogeneous, around 8 300 women in Finland come from countries where FGC is practiced.

Ingvild Lunde, from the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress, presented her research proposal on “Female Genital Cutting among Kurdish migrants in Norway”. As the study is in a preliminary stage Lunde presented mostly on the custom in Kurdistan and her methodology, which follows an explorative and flexible design based on qualitative research methods. Although Kurdish migrants are the second largest group of migrants from countries practicing FGC in Norway, there is little research or information on the custom among Kurdish migrants. Lunde started her research in August as part of her PhD and it is proposed to end May 2007. We are very much looking forward to reading her finished paper.