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.