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 Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Parliament Passes a Law to Ban Female Genital Mutilation

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Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Parliament Passes a Law to Ban Female Genital Mutilation  24.6.2011
By Wadi Press-statement







June 24, 2011

BERLIN/SULAIMANIYAH, — June 22nd was a good day for women and girls in Iraq. Kurdistan Regional Parliament passed with great majority a bill that bans Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a harmful act. Performing FGM is penalized under the new law.

FGM, of which the practice was denied for decades, is a considerable threat to women’s health in Northern Iraq. Studies carried out by WADI since 2007 reveal that a majority of more than 60 % of the region’s women and girls have been mutilated. The operation, in which parts of the female sexual organ are removed, regularly causes severe physical and psychological consequences. Fear and trauma, lasting pain and infertility are common consequences. The operation itself is usually carried out by laymen in poor hygienic conditions and has cost lives.          
The public controversy about FGM in Iraqi-Kurdistan began following the results of the studies conducted by WADI since 2007. While some still deny that FGM is practiced in Kurdistan,www.ekurd.neta group of women's rights activists and MPs from across the political spectrum introduced an Anti-FGM bill in the parliament. The group’s work was supported by WADI and it was accompanied by a public awareness campaign in the local media.

The new Anti-FGM Law is a long hoped outcome of this work. Still, more effort is needed to fight FGM. At the core of it, the right to self-determination of women and girls must be put on the agenda. The Kurdish Region in Northern Iraq has taken an important step in this direction.

Thomas Uwer for the board

For further inquiries you can contact Wadi’s Iraq office: 00964-7701-588173
wadi-online.de
 

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