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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Female Genital Mutilation in Kurdistan -The Unfruitful Efforts - First Report-2009

October 2009
Prepared by: FGM awareness teams in Rania, Qaladeza, Garmian, Slemany. Under the Supervision of WOLA "Women Legal Assistance Organization"
Edited by; Falah Muradkhan Shakrm/ Coordinator General/ WADI/ Iraq
Translated by : Dr. Goran Abdullah

The Unfruitful Efforts

In 2005, our NGO [ suggested to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), that if it would "start combating and eliminating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the region, it would establish itself as a leader in this field and would enhance the respect of the government as a row model for the rest of the nations of the Middle East". However, after 5 years of hard struggles and field work to combat FGM in Kurdistan, and despite the piles of data, statistics and documents about the practice that were presented to the Parliament of Kurdistan, we are unfortunately announcing that the practice still continues. Since February 2008, FGM has been covered with a vile of silence in the Halls of the Parliament, despite the fact that a project of a bill in this regard is ready and had been signed by 68 members of parliament.

In an even more disappointing step, the Ministry of Health (MoH) had in the beginning responded to our demands and offered to meet. But after three meetings with the Minister of Health and all the Director Generals in the Ministry which resulted in an action plan to combat FGM, the Minister of Health (Dr. Abdulrehman Othman) had broke all of his promises, boycotted our NGO, disregarded all the data we presented to him and characterized the latter as false and inaccurate including those statistics from the Department of Maternal Health of the MoH that were collected from 2007 to 2008 in Erbil city. According to the very Ministry's estimations, out of all the women visited the department, 30929 were genitally mutilated and circumcised.
It is surprising that at the same time that the KRG is claiming to recruit resources and effort to combat gender based violence, it turns a blind eye on FGM and doesn’t regarded it as a violence against women. This is happening while the whole world recognizes FGM as one of the most dangerous forms of violence [...]