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News and Views: Kurdistan

Female Circumcision Still Prevalent Among Some Kurdish Communities

May 4, 2012

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region -- Around 34 percent of women in the ethnically diverse city of Kirkuk have been circumcised and most of them are Kurdish, according to a new joint survey by the German WADI organization and the Iraqi Pana Center.

The survey on female genital mutilation found that the practice has declined in Kirkuk; however, 15 percent of girls in the community under 20 have been circumcised.

Iraqi Kurdistan Bans Female Genital Mutilation

August 4, 2011

Human Rights Watch on Tuesday welcomed a draft law banning female genital mutilation by the regional government in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Family Violence Bill approved June 21 by the autonomous government includes several provisions criminalising the practice in Kurdistan, HRW, said, adding that prevalence of FGM among girls and women in Kurdistan "is at least 40 percent."

Kurdistan: A killing set honour above the law

November 20, 2010


DOKAN, Iraq — Serving small glasses of sugary tea, Qadir Abdul-Rahman Ahmed explained how things went bad with the neighbors. It was not true, he said, that his brothers had threatened to drown his niece if she tried to marry the young man down the street.

“We are not against humanity,” he explained. “I told my brother, if she wants to marry, you can’t stop her.”

But the couple should never have married without permission.

“The girl and the boy should be killed,” he said. “It’s about honor. Honor is more important for us than religion.”

Iraq: Kurdistan - Study Shows Prevalence of FGM - Urge to Ban

New survey reveals that majority of women in Kurdistan have undergone genital mutilation.

By Qassim Khidhir in Erbil (ICR No. 323, 11-Feb-10)

Mariam Nadr, 77, has a fine home in an upscale neighbourhood of Erbil and is a prominent member of the community. She has a bright smile, a calm demeanour and wears the white shawl of a respected Kurdish matron.

Part of Nadr’s social standing stems from her past: for many years mothers came to her to perform genital mutilations on their daughters. For these women, the act was a cultural and religious rite.

Female Genital Cutting in Kurdistan

For Kurdish Girls, a Painful Ancient Ritual

The Widespread Practice of Female Circumcision in Iraq's North Highlights The Plight of Women in a Region Often Seen as More Socially Progressive

Honor killing outcry in Iraq

February 25, 2008

Six years ago, Hataw fled to a women's shelter to escape her brother's rage when she refused to marry the man he chose for her. Just a few weeks later, her brother ambushed her and her mother near the shelter, opening fire with an automatic weapon.

Activists call for legislative reforms to tackle honour killing

February 18, 2008

Six years ago, Hataw fled to a women’s shelter to escape her brother’s rage when she refused to marry the man he chose for her.

Increasing trend of women's suicide by fire

February 9, 2008

With the continuing violence in nearby Mosul and Diyala province, war surgery is in great demand. So too is the burns unit. The chief nurse, Ahmed Mohammad, has done the tour of the women's intensive care unit many times before. "This is ICU burns," he said. "We have four patients here."