Human Rights Watch: Law Banning FGM a Positive Step

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A Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) law that bans female genital mutilation (FGM) is a crucial step in eradicating the practice, Human Rights Watch said today. The Family Violence Bill, approved by the Kurdistan parliament on June 21, 2011, includes several provisions criminalizing the practice, recognized internationally as a form of violence against women. Several studies by the government and non-governmental organizations estimate that the prevalence of FGM among girls and women in Kurdistan is at least 40 percent. “By passing this law, the Kurdistan regional government has shown its resolve to end female genital mutilation and to protect the rights of women and girls,” said Nadya Khalife, Middle East women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “But the government needs a long-term strategy to deal with this harmful practice because criminalizing it is not enough.”

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