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Monday, December 14, 2009

Female Genital Mutilation is NOT an African problem!

December 2009

By Thomas v. der Osten-Sacken and Ines Laufer

Due to the tireless work of the organisation WADI e.V. – who are partners and supporters of the – campaign, the dimension of Female Genital Mutilation in Middle East, for example in Iraq and Iran, becomes more and more clear: Neglected and denied by all UN-bodies and concerned FGM-organisations for a long time, we have to admit today that up to 95% of the girls in Kurdish areas like Rania are submitted to Female Genital Mutilation (mutilation of the clitoris). One reason for maintaining this blindness towards FGM out of the African continent might be the fact that UN and other organisations did not want to see their construction about FGM as “old African rite and custom” break down like a house of cards and force them to admit that FGM is very Islam-linked problem. As WADI e.V. was the first organisation who discovered this crime in Kurdish Iraq only in 2004, major steps heve been done since then to bring the mutilations to the awareness of the Kurdish and even world public. Today, long articles and documentations about this crime among Kurdish girls, are being published, like this one at the Kurdish magazine “Avesta”:

WADI e.V. and numerous courageous Kurdish men and women with whom they co-operate make it impossible to overlook any longer the suffering of girls and women in Middle East because of Female Genital Mutilation. In Feburary 2010, WADI e.V. will present their full study on genital mutilations in Iraq, together with Human Rights Watch. At you find more detailed information about FGM in Iraq. It’s worth to have a look!

At the current Human Rights-Festival “Thishumanworld” in Vienna, there are two documentaries presented about Female Genital Mutilation in Iraq and Iran: “Handful of Ash” by Nabaz Ahmed, co-produced by WADI, about FGM in Iraq, a film that has been presented in Germany last year already, and “In the Name of tradition” about FGM in Iran, by Kameel Ahmady, where about 70% of girls become victims of that crime: – campaign at the Kurdish Newspaper “REWAN” There’s need of much more public awareness and outspeaking and most important: acting to stop these crimes wherever they are being committed. The children need to be protected first of all. In Africa. In Iraq. In Iran. In Europe and in the United States. And we all have our opportunities to take and choices to make to help stamping out this violence for ever.