Survey Shows Widespread FGM in Northern Iraq

A German organization released a survey of villages in Kurdish-controlled Iraq that show that between 60-70 percent of the women have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM). According to IRIN News, of 1,544 women and girls more than ten years old living in the German region of Iraq, 907 said that they had been circumcised.

Female genital mutilation is the cutting or removal of all or a portion of the female genitals for cultural (not medical) reasons. Adwoa Kwateng Kluvitse, director of the Foundation for Women’s Health, Research and Development, said that FGM “is clearly an abuse of children, it is a human rights violation, it is a gender violence issue, it is a women’s issue,” according to Radio Free Europe.

More than 130 million women are believed to have been subjected to FGM around the world. FGM causes women to suffer infections, pain, hemorrhage, and psychological problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of FGM.

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IRIN News 1/6/05; Radio Free Europe 1/21/05

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