Wadi’s Non Violence campaign in Iraqi-Kurdistan is expanding.
Today the village Tutaqal joined in. Tutaqal was one of the first free-FGM villages in the region and declared in 2012 that it would stop this harmful practice. Since then they became an example for others, a lot of media reported about them and Wadi is supporting them since then with various projects to improve education for the girls in the village.
Twtakal is one of the six villages that became “FGM Free,” in a project launched by the German-Iraqi organisation WADI. The isolated village which houses 13 families is one of the success stories, and illustrates a slow trend toward a decline in the practice in Iraqi Kurdistan. Until recently, research done by WADI showed an over 60 percent prevalence of FGM in the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq. This summer, Kurdish scientists published new figures that seem to imply smaller numbers of young girls are touched by it, with their percentage down to about 35.
Today we discussed the Non-Violence idea with Mr. Sarhad Ajeb, the major of Tutaqal and he showed full support, explaining that Tutaqal improved a lot after deciding to stop FGM and would like to become the first violent-free village in Iraq and Kurdistan. “Violence is not only directed against women and children but also against animals and nature”, he said, “and if we want to have a peaceful future we need to change the attitudes towards all these forms of violence.”
The primary school in Tutaqal will become the sixth school in Germian region turning into a violence-free school.
Tutaqal suffered heavy destruction during the so-called Anfal campaign in 1988, thirty years ago and the region was also bombed with chemical weapons by Saddam’s army. “We know what violence means”, Sarhad states, we encountered all forms by ourselves. As some famous old fighters against Saddam from the region, called Peshmergas in Kurdistan, who now outspokenly support this Non-Violence campaign, Sarhad believes combating violence against children women and nature should be a major challenge for all.