Deutsche Welle about the Campaign against FGM in Iraqi-Kurdistan and Wadi’s Free FGM Village program:
“Circumcision brought us problems. It is much better for husband and wife when it is not happening.” The mokhtar of Twtakal, a small village in Iraqi Kurdistan is very clear about it. The practice of FGM, or female genital mutilation, should be eradicated.
The village chief is proud that his village has stopped circumcising its women, where only two years ago still every mother had it done to her daughters. It was a bad habit, Kak Sarhad told DW. “For men, who have all these layers, it is cleaner. But women don’t have that and don’t need it.”
The elder women of the village do not agree. “It has been done for generations. Our mothers and grandmothers did it. We had no problems with our husbands, no divorces,” say some village women, gathered on the floor in the mokhtar’s house.
Twtakal is one of the six villages that became “FGM Free,” in a project launched by the German-Iraqi organisation WADI. The isolated village which houses 13 families is one of the success stories, and illustrates a slow trend toward a decline in the practice in Iraqi Kurdistan. Until recently, research done by WADI showed an over 60 percent prevalence of FGM in the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq. This summer, Kurdish scientists published new figures that seem to imply smaller numbers of young girls are touched by it, with their percentage down to about 35.