Iraqi Kurdistan an example

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Human Rights Watch recently published a book about the global fight for Women’s Rights: The Unfinished Revolution.

One chapter  deals with Female Genital Mutilation and the attempts to ban this practice. Nadya Khalifa, who conducted a research about FGM in Kurdistan, writes about the StopFGMKurdistan campaign and the reactions of the authorities, which she considers a positive example for other countries too:

 The Kurdistan parliament’s adoption in June 2011 of a family violence bill, including two provisions on FGM, constituted another major milestone on the road to ending FGM. (…) For me , this was a deeply satisfying moment, as I recalled the harrowing testimonies of women and girls I interviewed in the course of my research.

What this teaches us is that FGM eradication efforts require a multifaced approach – one that works with numerous key actors at the same time, including victims, their families, religious leaders, health care professionals, teachers and community leaders. Debate and discussions are essential to encourage a community affirmation to stop the mutilation of girls. In every country where FGM exists, government authorities can follow the example of Iraqi Kurdistan and make a public commitment by sending out a clear message that this harmful practice has no place in their society.

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