Latest data collected by Wadi’s teams in Raniya/Qaladiza and Garmyan (Iraqi Kurdistan) where WADI has been raising awareness for years indicate that the FGM rate has dropped considerably.
The Raniya/Qaladiza area is known for its extremely conservative and traditional way of life. It used to be a FGM stronghold: Raniya holds 95,5% and Qaladiza 97,4% FGM prevalence among women above the age of 14.* Now the rate among girls under 14 years was found to be 50.7% (sample size: 1599).
In Garmyan the overall FGM rate is 81.2%*. Recently it was found to be 21.3% among girls under 14 years of age (sample size: 970).
These numbers are encouraging! They show that while the Middle East is changing profoundly people are ready to rethink old traditions and adopt to modern standards in a strikingly short period of time. There seems to be a new spirit in the air which hopefully will allow us to eradicate FGM much faster here than in Africa.
*According to Wadi’s comprehensive region-wide study conducted in 2009, see http://stopfgmkurdistan.org/html/english/fgm_study.htm