Mittwoch, 02.01.2019 / 22:02 Uhr

Genitalverstümmelung in Irakisch Kurdistan geht zurück

Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Manchmal gibt es auch gute Nachrichten aus dem Nahen Osten, etwa die, dass seit einiger Zeit viel weniger Mädchen in Irakisch-Kurdistan genitalverstümmelt werden. Aber noch immer wird diese gewaltsame Eingriff praktiziert. Nun kündigt die kurdische Regionalregierung immerhin an, endlich ein gesetzt, das schon 2011 verabschiedet wurde auch ernsthaft umsetzen zu wollen:

FGM appears to have been practiced for decades in Iraq’s Kurdish region, usually known for more progressive stances on women’s rights.

Victims are usually between four and five years old but are impacted for years by bleeding, extremely reduced sexual sensitivity, tearing during childbirth, and depression.

The procedure can prove fatal, with some girls dying from blood loss or infection. After years of campaigning, Kurdish authorities banned FGM under a 2011 domestic violence law, slapping perpetrators with up to three years in prison and a roughly $80,000 fine. The numbers have dropped steadily since.

In 2014, a UN children’s agency (UNICEF) survey found 58.5 percent of women in the Kurdish region had been mutilated. This year, UNICEF found a lower rate: 37.5 percent of girls aged 15-49 in the Kurdish region had undergone FGM. It compares with less than one percent across the rest of Iraq, which has no FGM legislation.

“She cut me, I was hurt and cried,” said Shukriyeh, 61, of the day her mother mutilated her more than 50 years ago.
“I was just a child. How could I be angry at my mother?“

“The 2011 law isn’t being used because girls won’t file a complaint against their mothers or fathers,” said Parwin Hassan, who heads the Kurdish Regional Government’s anti-FGM unit. Hassan has wanted to work on the issue since she narrowly escaped it: her mother pulled her away from their midwife after a last-minute change of heart.
“I’ve been working on women’s issues since 1991, but this is the most painful for me. That’s why I promised to eradicate it completely,” she told AFP.

She said Kurdish authorities would unveil a strategy next year to strengthen the 2011 law and carry out more awareness campaigns.