Living with FGM

For more than fifteen years Wadi is campaigning against Female Genital Mutilation in Kurdistan and this campaign has shown great success. But what about girls and women who have undergone the cut? There are ways to improve their life and partnership. This is what our new project is about.


The life-long effects of FGM are a complex issue, with many layers of negative effects that FGM has on an individual and societal level. As part of a holistic approach to tackling FGM in Iraqi Kurdistan, and in response to demand for information and support, Wadi has started working with both women and men living with the effects FGM, in areas where the practice of FGM has been rejected. This pilot project is the second phase of Wadi’s FGM work, and in no way condones the practice of FGM, or sends the message that ‘it’s not that bad if you do this to your daughters, because here are some coping strategies’.

This pilot project is now in its second year and has reached out to people in towns and villages to discuss and share tools on how to live with the emotional and physical aftermath of FGM. Women who are living with FGM also need (and want) support and information on how to deal with other aspects of women’s health such as menstruation and childbirth.

Our teams were trained from experts how to deal with all the questions and problems that come up in meetings with women who have undergone FGM. 

For more background about this programm watch this video:

Although this approach is new in Iraqi Kurdistan, there has been some work in diaspora communities in Europe and communities in Africa. Wadi is working to build effective strategies from best practices used in those communities. This project also responds to local demand for more training from social workers and health workers on providing women living with FGM with health information, and emotional/wellbeing tools.

This project is supported by the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands and just got a two years extension.