Media Committee for the Campaign against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Created in Iraqi-Kurdistan
As reported in the independent Kurdish newspaper Hawlati on Wednesday, a media committee has been created in Suleymaniah to advance the campaign against FGM.The committee already includes representatives of the newspapers Hawlati, Livin, and Awena, the media section of Wsihna, Radio Dangue and the German organization Wadi. As reported in Hawlati, in the committee’s meeting over the past weeks, the participants have decided to advance the struggle against FGM in Iraqi-Kurdistan through a coordinated media campaign.
Mr. Falah Muradkhin, Iraqi projects coordinator for Wadi, was elected as spokesperson of the committee. He told Hawlati: "FGM is a widespread problem in our region and we need now to join out effort together to fight this practice. FGM is still practiced in Iraqi-Kurdistan because people believe that it is good for the girls and for society. In addition, they are influenced by religion – many people here still believe that it is "Sunnat" to do it. Therefore there is a pressing need of information. For this, we need experts of all parts of society, who can inform people about the background of this practice. Additionally Muradkhin affirmed that now some religious leaders have begun to support this campaign.
As further reported in Hawlati, the free Radio Dangue New is now producing different short information clips against FGM, in which medical doctors, politicians, social workers, artists, clerics and other public figures give their statements against FGM. The clips will then be broadcasted daily with help of different radio stations, everywhere in Kurdistan. A number of radio stations have already agreed to broadcast the audio clips daily and for free.
In addition the committee decided to print and distribute buttons of a common logo for the Stop FGM campaign. Posters and brochures will also be prepared for advertisement in public places, such as hospitals and schools. Funding for these activities is sought not only from international donors, but also locally. For this aim, among other things, a benefit concert is planned with the participation of popular Kurdish musicians. The participant media cannels also plan to report and inform for a week on a daily basis on different aspects of FGM.
Recruitment of additional newspapers and television stations for the committee is also planned.
According to the Hawlati Article the Ministry of Health in Arbil is going to create an inter-ministerial committee to combat FGM effectively and help to set up a national action plan. The media group will try to cooperate and participate in this committee as well.
The committee will keep regular meetings and is committed to this problem until FGM in Iraqi-Kurdistan will become a past.
In addition, the contact persons for the following areas were elected: Fundraising (Hawlati), contacts to schools and universities (Livin), clerics (Hawlati), women’s organizations, radios und international contacts.