FGM: Common even among academics


Wadi’s FGM research in Iraqi Kurdistan (except Dohuk) revealed significant data about the role of education. Little surprising, mutilations are less common in educated households. Girls with educated parents run a lower risk of being mutilated. On the other hand it has to be emphasized that even among academics (about 1% in our research) every third girl has to suffer mutilation. Among illiterates (fathers 72%, mothers 88%) the mutilation rate is as high as 78%.

Regarding the father’s professions, teachers and, to a lesser extend, traders and craftsmen provide their daughters with education above average. 37% of the teachers’ daughters are working, compared to 7% of the state employees’ and less than 1% of the farmers’ daughters. Thus, self-employed professions seem to be favourable for daughters.

The mutilation rate among teachers’ daughters is also considerably below average (37%). But this holds not true for the other self-employed professions. Traders’ daughters even have one of the highest mutilation rates (more than 76%).

The results show that lack of education is not a cause per se for the genital mutilations. There is a link, but it is not a direct one. In fact, lack of education, like FGM, seems to be a symptom of a more general attitude towards women.


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