The parliament of Iraqi Kurdistan registered an important victory against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on Wednesday, June 22, when it passed, by a large majority, legislation banning the practice. The brutal and un-Islamic custom of FGM has now been criminalized in the Iraqi Kurdish region, even as Western European countries have vacillated on its prohibition.
The success of Iraqi Kurdistan’s anti-FGM law has been partly credited to sustained investigative and lobbying work by a German/Iraqi non-governmental organization, WADI. The group has conducted surveys, beginning in 2007, revealing the wide incidence of infliction of FGM among Iraqi Kurds. WADI has disclosed that more than 60 percent of women and girls in Iraqi Kurdistan have been subjected to genital mutilation.