Still too many girls and women suffer from “the cut”. Although the number of new cases of Female Genital Mutilation is decreasing since the “Stop FGM Kurdistan Campaign” started in 2004, in some areas the pracice still continues.
The team members of Wadi hear such stories almost on a daily base. Few women who have undergone this cut ever forget what was done to them and suffer from it until the end of their lifes. The News Chronicle spoke with one of them.
Wadi is committed to continue it’s awareness against FGM until this practice is fully eliminated.
At seven, Dania, (not real name) underwent female genital mutilation in her home town, Sulaymaniyah, in northern Iraq. Explaining how it all began, she said, ‘’my mother told me one morning, come with me, we need to go to the bakery. That day, I experienced fear, deception and excruciating pain. I was only seven.’’ (…)
Continuing, Dania said, “when we arrived at the bakery, my mom took me to the back room where there was an old stove. I saw an old woman holding razor blades. I remember that old woman and my mom holding me down. Words cannot express the pain and confusion I felt. It took a few seconds and I saw blood coming down my thighs. The woman then put coal on my genitalia.”
Dania is now 53 years old. But, she says, “I remember everything… The smell, the pain, the screams and the blood coming down on my thighs.”
FGM is any procedure that alters or injures the female genitalia for non-medical reasons, and it is recognized internationally as a violation of human rights. It can cause lasting physical and psychological consequences, including painful menstruation, infertility, infections and even, in some cases, death.
“At seven, Dania, (not real name) underwent female genital mutilation in her home town, Sulaymaniyah, in northern Iraq. Explaining how it all began, she said, ‘’my mother told me one morning, come with me, we need to go to the bakery. That day, I experienced fear, deception and excruciating pain. I was only seven.’’
It takes place in countries and communities around the world, including the Kurdistan region. Strong advocacy in recent years has made a difference, however. Estimates from 2015 showed that, among the mothers surveyed, 44.8 per cent reported undergoing the practice themselves, compared to 10.7 per cent of their daughters under age 14, being cut, with the average age of cutting being five years old.
Still, the practice continues to affect the health and lives of too many girls. In Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, it is deeply rooted in cultural beliefs and myths. For instance, many view cutting as essential to protecting the honour of their daughters, while others consider it a prerequisite for eventual marriage.”
For more information visit our Stop FGM page