Iraqi human rights committee calls on
Kurdish counterpart to coordinate fight against
April 12, 2012
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — A member of the human
rights committee in the Iraqi Council of
Representatives Thursday called on its Kurdish
counterpart to coordinate together to fight against
female circumcision, adding that awareness and
education are the most important weapons to combat
MP Ashwaq al-Jaff of the Iraqi committee said:
"Educating against this phenomenon is the
responsibility of the human rights committee in
Baghdad and Erbil in coordination with civil society
organizations, cultural centers and media, as well
as the important role of the family.
Jaff explained that his committee reviewed a report
published Tuesday by WADI on
ekurd.net about female circumcision.
"It got our attention as it detected figures that
must be combated. Therefore we have included this
issue on the agenda of the human rights committee,"
"Our commission has a lot of important files and I
don't hide a secret that the issue of female
circumcision across Iraq, including the Kurdistan
Region, has got the attention of human rights
organizations and international personalities.
"The main problem is that we're in dire need of
education on human rights, because when the people
do not know the limits of their rights, the rights
will be violated and people will not be able to
defend their rights.
"Fighting this phenomenon and other phenomena can be
done through public awareness and comes in first
place, as well as cultural, medical awareness and
individual rights. If these three things were
achieved we would be able to eliminate this negative
phenomenon to a large extent."
A study prepared by Sulaimaniyah-based German
NGO Wadi e.V. and PANA, a local women's rights
organization in Kirkuk. Both organizations worked
together to interview 1,212 women and girls,www.ekurd.net
aged above 14 years, living in Kirkuk.
The study found that 38.2 percent of the sample had
undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) in a
region previously assumed to be free of the ancient
Female circumcision dates back several centuries and
is still common in some countries, particularly
southern African Sahara and countries in south and
west Asia and the Middle East.
Of those interviewed, 65.4% are Kurdish, 25.7% are
Arab and 12.3% are Turkmen. Furthermore, those
affected also showed diversity in religious
backgrounds: 40.9% were Sunnis, 23.4% Shi'ites and
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