This week, Human Rights Watch published a report on female genital mutilation (FGM) in the Kurdistan region and strongly urged the KRG to do more to stop the practice in Kurdish society, which the report stated was widespread. The news gained much attention internationally from most major media organs such as the BBC, CNN, Reuters and so forth. It has also been a major topic in the Kurdistan region with all media reporting on it.The Peyamner website affiliated to Nechirvan Barzani in a meeting with the Kurdistan region’s Minister for Health, Taha Hawrami, stated that the Minister had been visited by HRW and that they had told him only 30% of females in only “some areas” suffered from FGM and not 70% has the report stated. Hawrami also stated that in his history of being a doctor he had not once been visited by a female with the injuries written about in the HRW report, and for him that means the incidence of the practice is less than what HRW has reported.
The Gorran affiliated Sbeiy website reported that the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs published a letter of discontent in reaction to the HRW report. The letter was addressed to Nadia Khalifa, a women’s rights expert with HRW in the Middle East, and stated the Ministry was displeased that it was not included in the report. They deemed their involvement important as it was suggested Kurds practice FGM partly because of religious reasons. Also in the letter the Ministry clarified that the practice of FGM is not related to the Islamic religion and that no Mullahs or Imams from the Ministry had issued any Fatwas (religious edict) urging the practice of FGM in the Kurdistan region.
Source: http://www.sbeiy. com/ku/newsDetai l.aspx?id= 27719&cat=1 Also, both the KDP affiliate Gulan magazine and the independent Awene reported on the statement of the Kurdistan Union of Islamic Scholars (KUIS) regarding the HRW report. In their official state the KUIS expressed their dissatisfaction for not being consulted on the matter of FGM in Kurdistan. The KUIS also stated that they are against any acts or customs that hinder the progress of women or violate their rights. Sources:
1) http://www.gulan- media.com/ t_detail. php?section= 1&id=417
2) http://www.awene. com/Direje. aspx?Babet= Hewal&Jimare=7512