An Underestimated Human Rights Issue: Female Genital Mutilation in Iraq

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Female genital mutilation (FGM, hereinafter) is a form of gender-related violence that was hitherto only known to be practiced in many African countries and in Yemen…Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is prevalent in all governorates of the Kurdish Northern Iraq, except in the far northern Duhok region. This area is also marked by very high rates of honor killings, domestic violence, forced marriages, and other gender-related crimes. FGM is just another product of the prevailing authoritarian and extremely patriarchal gender structures based on control and obedience, domination and subjugation, suspicion and fear…FGM is a human rights issue which should be dealt with on the human rights arena, irrespective of the bizarre ways of justification people might choose for this act…fighting FGM should be considered a battle for hearts and minds – comparable to a political movement, but strictly non-partisan, as a human rights commitment..

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