Archiv für die Kategorie ‘FGM’

Stop FGM Kurdistan Event in London

Sonntag, 13. Juli 2014

Kurdish villages declare themselves FGM-free

Dienstag, 17. Juni 2014

For ten years, Hivos partner WADI has been campaigning against female genital mutilation (FGM) in Iraqi Kurdistan. Director Thomas von der Osten-Sacken finds that communities are slowly but surely turning away from this degrading tradition.

The Iraqi-German human rights organisation WADI first came upon the harrowing consequences of FGM in the Kurdish Autonomous Region through its mobile teams. „At that time, it was thought that FGM barely existed in Iraq. FGM was seen as an ‚African problem‘,” says von der Osten-Sacken. „Right now in publications people talk of about 140 to 160 million women who have been genitally mutilated worldwide. But Indonesia – the country with the largest Muslim population in the world – is not included, and it is estimated that about 80 percent of women are circumcised there. If you add Iraq, Iran, Oman, Yemen and Malaysia, you come to the conclusion that the number of victims of FGM is probably twice as high.“

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Talking about FGM in Dubai

Dienstag, 17. Juni 2014

Hannah Wettig, the coordinator of Stop FGM Middle East, a joint project of Wadi and Hivos, held a lecture at Bold Talks Women Dubai on May 31, 2014:

Combating Female Genital Mutilation – Hanna Wettig – BOLDtalks Woman 2014

Stop it!

Donnerstag, 22. Mai 2014

Participants of the 2nd Conference against FGM in the Middle East and Asia say: Stop FGM!

Second Middle East & Asia Conference on FGM shows that new strategies are needed

Sonntag, 18. Mai 2014

Embedded image permalink

On May 7th to 10th the Second Middle East & Asia Conference on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) was held in Istanbul where more than thirty activists and researchers from Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia and India met as well as representatives from UNICEF Iraq, Orchid Project (England) and Terre des Femmes (Germany). It was the second such conference organized by the German-Iraqi NGOs WADI and the Dutch NGO Hivos.

For the longest time FGM was regarded as an African problem, based on the African continent with some prevalence in neighboring countries like Yemen. This mantra was overcome only recently when WADI strated raising conscious, that FGM is also widespread in a Middle Eastern country like Iraq. In January 2012, the first conference on FGM in the Middle East was held in Beirut. In the last two years the STOP FGM Middle East Project by WADI and Hivos collected further evidence, that countries like Oman, Malaysia and Indonesia have a significant high prevalence rate of FGM. Therefore, this second conference widened the scope from the Middle East to South East Asia.

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Solidarity Against Female Genital Mutilation

Donnerstag, 08. Mai 2014

Irfan Al-Allawi writes for Gatestone Institute about the efforts to fight FGM in Islamic Countries with examples from Iraq, Oman and Iran quoting activists who were also present on the Second Middle East Conference on Female Genital Mutilation WADI and Hivos jointly have organized in Istanbul:

Although FGM is associated often with Islam, it is found commonly in non-Muslim areas of Africa and among immigrants to the West from that region. Muslims should take the initiative in opposing FGM; campaigns against this violation of women’s rights are underway already in several Muslim lands.

The best known such effort has taken place in Iraqi Kurdistan. In a recent interview, Thomas von der Osten-Sacken, who is affiliated with WADI, an Iraqi-German organization supporting human rights and civil society in the Middle East, described the beginning of the Kurdistan campaign. Von der Osten-Sacken recounted, „Following the toppling of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, mobile teams we organized [went to] various Kurdish villages and towns to offer medical services. One year later, women started approaching the team members about having been cut… It was a taboo to discuss but… we started helping women in 35 villages.“ The Kurdistan anti-FGM movement gained attention in media.

In 2011, the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq made FGM a crime, and interviewer Heidi Basch-Harod states that FGM „in Iraqi Kurdistan has significantly decreased, from 90 percent to zero percent in some areas. Nevertheless, the practice has not disappeared.“

(mehr …)

Second Middle East Conference on FGM

Donnerstag, 01. Mai 2014

The Second Middle East & Asia Conference on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by WADI and Hivos will take place from May 7th to May 10th in Istanbul.

The conference will tackle two myths about Female Genital Mutilation. It is commonly believed that FGM is mainly practiced in Africa and that it has no religious grounds. Both claims are not true.

FGM is practiced widely in Asia: In Middle Eastern countries such as Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Iran, but also in Southeast Asia: in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, India and the Maledives.

New study from South Iraq

We have invited the most prominent Anti-FGM activists from Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Malaysia and Indonesia to present new studies about the prevalence of FGM in their countries and talk about their struggle against the cruel practice which much more than 140 million girls and women have fallen victim to worldwide. Highlights will be three new studies, which have not been presented before: from Southern Iraq, from Iran and from Oman. For South Iraq it is the first study ever on FGM.

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Egypt launches first prosecution for female genital mutilation after girl dies

Samstag, 15. März 2014

A doctor will stand trial for the first time in Egypt on charges of female genital mutilation, after a 13-year-old girl died following an alleged operation in his clinic last year.

In a landmark case, Dr Raslan Fadl is the first doctor to be prosecuted for FGM in Egypt, where the practice was banned in 2008, but is still widely accepted and carried out by many doctors in private.

Sohair al-Bata’a died in Fadl’s care in June 2013, and her family admitted that she had been victim to an FGM operation carried out at their request.

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Cleric calls for FGM on Islamic grounds

Freitag, 14. März 2014

Dass FGM mit Islam nicht zu tun habe, hört und liest man ständig. Nur leider stimmen viele muslimische Kleriker dieser Einschätzung so gar nicht zu. Auch nicht dieser Herr von den Malediven:

A fatwa has been issued by an influential Islamic scholar here, citing specific hadith or sayings of the Prophet Mohammed.

FGM is one of the five things that are part of fitrah, or nature, says the fatwa by Dr. Mohamed Iyaz Abdul Latheef, Vice President of the Fiqh Academy of the Maldives, posted on, a website which seeks to ‘convey the true message of Islam.’

The other four things are: ‘shaving the pubes, trimming the moustache, cutting the nails and plucking the armpit hairs,’ writes Latheef, who is also a candidate of the Adhaalath Party, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, for the upcoming parliamentary elections in the South Asian archipelago.

Latheef quotes a hadith of the collection by Prophet Mohammed’s wife, Aisha, as saying, ‘A bath becomes obligatory if one sleeps with your wife and the circumcised parts touch each other.’

The cleric concludes: ‘The word circumcision has been applied to both men and women here. The hadith demonstrates that women must be circumcised as well.’

Female Genital Mutilation in Iran: Prohibited but not persecuted

Dienstag, 04. März 2014

The gender researcher Rayeheh Mozafarian has tackled the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Iran in a new scientific study. Sie demands an open discussion about the problem to stop the practice.

Rayeyeh Mozafarian who is working at the University of Schiraz conducted interviews about FGM in several Iranian provinces between 2007 and 2009. Yet, only recently was she permitted to publish her study after waiting for five years. According to her research 70 percent of female circumcisions are taking place in the provinces Kurdistan, West Aserbaidschan, Kermanshah, Ilam, Lorestan and Hormozgan. The practice can be found among both Shia and Sunni Muslims.

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Support for the Implementation of Law Nr. 8 to Combat Violence against Women in the Kurdish Region

Montag, 03. März 2014

With support from the US consulate in Erbil, WADI implemented a three-months project to support the implementation of law No. 8 which outlaws violence against women in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.

During the project two publications and a special calendar were produced which aimed at introducing the law to the public. In the first publication the text of the law against domestic violence was printed with 4000 copies in the three languages Kurdish, Arabic & English. The second publication is a guide for Stopping FGM with 3000 copies printed. And the last one is 2000 copies of a calendar designed and carved by the famous Kurdish artist Rostam Aghala. These publications were distributed in the 12 seminars and many other events in the Kurdish region.

In a second step of the project 12 meetings were held in different regions of KRG focusing on the three areas Halabja, Ranya and Garmyan. The aim of these meetings was to make the domestic violence law known and to spread awareness among people. In discussions people shared their thoughts about the law and how they will deal with it. In total 388 people participated in the meeting, 326 women and 62 men.

In the region of Garmyan region, the Director of the department for domestic violence Ms. Lameea and the local NGO-network NBO could be won to participate in organizing four seminars.

This project got huge media interest and during the project six satellite channels, four radios and two newspapers covered the activities.

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Feb 6th: Many media reports on our work and FGM in Asia

Freitag, 07. Februar 2014

On February 6th, the eleventh international Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, a number of media outlets have picked up on the topic of Female Genital Mutilation in Asia. Many non-governmental und international organizations tackling FGM, including the World Health Organization, still don’t mention the existence of FGM in many Asian countries. Breaking the silence is a first step to saving millions of girls in these countries from being mutilated. WADI and Hivos stressed this in their press declaration on this year’s February 6th. Therefore, we are happy that many journalists have now brought out this message. In several cases Stop FGM Middle East and WADI were able to provide information.

Al Jazeera Turkey came to Wadi’s office in Suleymania in North Iraq and spoke with victims of FGM. The film also describes the situation in Iraqi Kurdistan and the successful campaign against FGM.

De Vokskrant, the largest newspaper of the Netherlands also reported on the work of Wadi in Iraqi Kurdistan on February sixth. On February 7th, they ran a long story on FGM in Indonesia, underlining the importance to stop ignoring the brutal tradition in Asia.

Y-Magazin, an Omani English language culture and lifestyle magazine, ran a large feature article on FGM in Oman quoting the activist Habiba al Hinai, presenting her study and mentioning Stop FGM Middle East mission in Oman.

The Iraqi Kurdish channel KNN interviewed Wadi’s women project coordinator Souaad Abdelrahman in Suleymania. And the Kirkuk Torture Center published a declaration condemning FGM.

Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation; Action in Asia is needed

Mittwoch, 05. Februar 2014

By HIVOS and WADI; The Hague, Suleimania 5 February, 2014.

On the fourth official International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female genital mutilation (FGM), the practice is far from being eradicated. While the numbers of mutilated girls are decreasing in Africa after decades of concerted efforts, large regions where FGM is practiced are entirely neglected in this worldwide battle. This is particularly true for Asia. The practice is widespread in Indonesia and Malaysia, it exists in Iran, Iraq,  and Jordan. In several countries of the Arabian peninsula FGM is practiced by relevant parts of the population.

These countries need to make an effort to fight FGM among their population. We also call upon Indonesia and Malaysia, where the practice is legally carried out in hospitals, to ban FGM and initiate a strong campaign against it. In some Arab countries and Iran the practice is not legal in hospitals, yet governments shy away from tackling the issue. As a first step reliable studies must be conducted and a campaign initiated. In some countries authorities must stop censuring voices that talk about FGM.

In Europe FGM deserves far more attention. The United Kingdom has seen an immense campaign this last year against the practice common among several migrant communities in Britain. France has taken some action. Yet, little to no campaigning has been seen in other European countries – even though migrant communities known to practice FGM are present in most European countries. It is more than likely that some have kept their tradition and practice FGM in their new homeland – just as has been found out for Britain. FGM can certainly not be viewed as a solely British problem. Governments and politicians all over Europe need to take initiative.

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Community Dialogue: No to FGM … Men’s Session

Mittwoch, 05. Februar 2014

WADI conducted a couple of community dialogues about Female Genital Mutilation in Kurdistan. This project was supported and funded by UNICEF.

Last week one of the first discussions with men took place in Kalar. Without the support of men campaigns against FGM are only partly successful. Therefore Wadi is planning to hold many more of these meetings.

FGM in Oman: Results of a Field Trip

Freitag, 31. Januar 2014

From StopFGMMidlleeast:

Now, after we visited Oman and spoke with a variety of people – activists against FGM, hospital personal, a cutter, journalists and proponents of the practice – we can be certain that FGM is widespread in Oman – and that the results of this study on adolescent women are credible. And not only that: It is probable that FGM is widespread all over the Gulf: From hearsay many Omanis are convinced that it is also widely practiced in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

Read the whole report

Community Dialogue: No to FGM

Montag, 27. Januar 2014

Currently WADI is conducting a couple of community dialogues about Female Genital Mutilation in Kurdistan. This project is supported and funded by UNICEF.

Yesterday in Bastora in Arbil Governorate a lot of the participating women for the first time had the chance to learn about the new law against domestic violence and the negative effects of FGM.

In the end of the session they were asked to raise their hands if they believe one should stop with FGM.

Here’s their answer:


New study in Oman shows high prevalance of FGM all over the Country

Mittwoch, 22. Januar 2014

According to a new study from Oman, female genital mutilation constitutes a widespread phenomenon in Oman in all age groups, and among women from all regional and educational backgrounds. Out of 100 women questioned 78 stated to be circumcised. The human rights activist and statistician Habiba Al Hinai conducted in cooperation with Stop FGM Middle East interviews with 100 female and 100 male participants in hospital waiting areas, shoppings malls and fast food restaurants in the capital Muscat.

The practice of female genital mutilation was long only considered prevalent in the Southern region of Dhofar with only small pockets in the North. Thus, it is most notable that the participants in this study originated from Northern regions with only two coming from Dhofar. The highest prevalence of FGM seems to exist in the regions Sharqiya North and South (18 out of 19), the Dakhiliya (11 out of 13) and the coastal Batina region (33 out of 38 questioned). Participants who originate from Muscat were less likely to be circumcised, but still more than half of the participants were affected.

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New Study Found High FGM Rate in Erbil/Kurdistan

Samstag, 11. Januar 2014

A statistical study to estimate the prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) among women in the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, Erbil, revealed a rate of 70.3% (self-reported), respectively 58.6% based on clinical examinations. These results match quite accurately with Wadi’s findings published in its comprehensive 2009 survey. Wadi found 63% of the women in Erbil governorate affected.

The newly published study was carried out in the delivery rooms of the Maternity Teaching Hospital and the maternal care units of 14 primary health care centers between 2007 and 2009. It was produced by medical professionals in cooperation with the General Directorate of Health.

According to the study, most perpetrators justified the practice with references to the cultural tradition while another large part prefered to describe it as a religious obligation. Wadi came to similar results.

However, although both studies were produced during the same period of time, they differ much in the proportion of FGM supporters. While Wadi identified a mere 3.4%, the newly issued study found that more than one third supported the practice and would mutilate their daughters.

Another alarming result is that only 30% of the interviewed women knew about the negative health consequences of FGM

Iraqi Kurdistan fights female circumcision

Dienstag, 10. Dezember 2013

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.

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From Oman: In Salalah facing up against FGM is almost impossible

Samstag, 07. Dezember 2013

A report from Wadi’s fact finding mission in Oman:

The women at the Women’s Association call her Doctor Marzouka. With her sun glasses and gold rings on her fingers the 50 something year old lady has a modern air around her. Playing with her car keys she shows that she is an emancipated woman – women driving is not at all for granted in this conservative part of Oman. Doctor Mazouka works as a doctor’s help in a state hospital, at the side she cuts the clitoris of newborn girls.

“She is very smart. When she worked with the doctor in the surgery she watched closely what he does. This is how she learned,” explains Saida, who works since 15 years for the Salalah branch of the Women’s Association, the semi-official organization for women in Oman. The Association has arranged the meeting with the cutter.

Marzouka is proud of her skills. She stresses that she is trained and not a traditional cutter. “My mother did not do this. I trained myself in the hospital.”

Openly, she describes her job: “I use a clamp and then a knife.” She carries rubber gloves and two sprays, one anaestatic one disinfectant, in her bag. Her business runs well. She cuts two to seven girls a day, she says, making 15 riyals (30 Euros) each. Most costumers she meets in the hospital in the delivery ward. In Dhofar, the Southern province of Oman, girls are traditionally cut in the first two days of their lives. Marzouka also advertises her services on the internet and besides, everybody knows her in town – as the women of the association confirm.

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