Instead of taking urgent action against FGM in Iraqi Kurdistan, many government officials still play down the situation and accuse the messenger. Ironically enough, this applies especially to those officials in charge of women’s and human rights issues.
The director of the Department “Follow-up of Violence Against Women in Kurdistan”, Korda Amr, for example, accuses in Ash-Sharq al-Awsat “some organizations” and namely “WADI from Germany” of cheating, claiming the mutilation rates found in our study were grossly exaggerated. She added that in Badinan and in the large cities, FGM rates were on the decline (which is also stated in our report). Moreover, cases of forced marriage and marriage of girls at a young age were declining as well. Generally, all these negative occurrences were declining. Believe it or not.
Then she speculated about the reasons for WADI’s alleged deception: “We believe that some organizations keep pushing this issue and operate with exaggerated figures in order to obtain international financial support.”
It’s sad but true: In a country where the government does nothing except of denying and trivializing, you have to rely on international aid to combat FGM.