More than a year after Iraq´s self-governed Kurdistan passed a law which criminalised FGM, activists say the tradition is still practiced in many villages. But residents in a remote village have agreed to stop FGM, hoping their action will spread to other Kurdish villages.
Tutakal is a remote village nestled in Kurdistan’s parched mountains, accessible only through its dusty mountain tracks. Here in this village, female genital mutilation was a common norm practiced by almost all families. But residents this year agreed to stop the brutal practice, in exchange for assistance with the basic services and a small classroom they said they badly needed, as alarabiya.net reported on Sunday
It is a promising model for the eradication of FGM, activists involved in the campaign say. “Now the people can understand very well that this is a crime and they can´t practice it anymore”, said Suaad Sharif, a member of WADI organization campaigning against FGM.
More than 40 percent of women and girls in Kurdistan have been subjected to FGM. One year ago, the Kurdistan parliament passed a law criminalizing the practice. But the implementation proved difficult and the numbers of victims have not reduced.
“We now feel the pain of the woman. The woman feels incomplete because when they do this, they cut a piece of flesh from a woman,” said village headman Sarhad Ajeb, explaining the reasons why they stopped. And he stressed: “There is no mention of this practice in the holy Quran.”