Fighting Against FGM in Iraqi Kurdistan

Published January 5th, 2019 - 08:36 GMT

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Female genital mutilation was once extremely common in the Kurdish region, but local NGO, the WADI organization, is  campaigning against this practice.

In the Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of the regional capital Arbil, usually known for its more progressive stances on on women's rights, females are still facing FGM. Victims are usually between four and five years old but but long suffer afterwards from and for years from bleeding, low sexual sensitivity, childbirth problems and depression.

Rasul, an Iraqi Kurdish activist in  WADI, spoke to women and young girls about the harms of FGM in Sharboty Saghira. For many, she is an angel, an Iraqi Kurdish activist on a crusade to eradicate this horrific practice in which a girl or woman's genitals are cut or removed and which was once extremely common in the Kurdish region. Continue reading below »

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Female genital mutilation appears to have been practiced for decades in Iraq's Kurdish region, usually known for more progressive stances on women's rights. 
SAFIN HAMED / AFP
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Image 1 of 8:  1 / 8Female genital mutilation appears to have been practiced for decades in Iraq's Kurdish region, usually known for more progressive stances on women's rights. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

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Young girls walk to school in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil.
SAFIN HAMED / AFP
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Image 2 of 8:  2 / 8Young girls walk to school in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

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Women carry children as they walk in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil.
SAFIN HAMED / AFP
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Image 3 of 8:  3 / 8Women carry children as they walk in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

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Women and young girls listen to Rasul, an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, as she peaks about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil.
SAFIN HAMED / AFP
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Image 4 of 8:  4 / 8Women and young girls listen to Rasul, an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, as she peaks about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

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Rasul (C), an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, speaks to women and young girls about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira.
SAFIN HAMED / AFP
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Image 5 of 8:  5 / 8Rasul (C), an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, speaks to women and young girls about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

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Women and young girls listen to Rasul, an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, as she peaks about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil.
SAFIN HAMED / AFP
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Image 6 of 8:  6 / 8Women and young girls listen to Rasul, an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, as she peaks about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

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Rasul (C), an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, speaks to women and young girls about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira.
SAFIN HAMED / AFP
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Image 7 of 8:  7 / 8Rasul (C), an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, speaks to women and young girls about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

Enlarge
Women and young girls listen to Rasul (not pictured), an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, as she peaks about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira.
SAFIN HAMED / AFP
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Image 8 of 8:  8 / 8Women and young girls listen to Rasul (not pictured), an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, as she peaks about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

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Female genital mutilation appears to have been practiced for decades in Iraq's Kurdish region, usually known for more progressive stances on women's rights. 
SAFIN HAMED / AFP

Image 1 of 8Female genital mutilation appears to have been practiced for decades in Iraq's Kurdish region, usually known for more progressive stances on women's rights. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

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Young girls walk to school in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil.
SAFIN HAMED / AFP

Image 2 of 8Young girls walk to school in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

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Women carry children as they walk in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil.
SAFIN HAMED / AFP

Image 3 of 8Women carry children as they walk in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

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Women and young girls listen to Rasul, an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, as she peaks about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil.
SAFIN HAMED / AFP

Image 4 of 8Women and young girls listen to Rasul, an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, as she peaks about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

5

Rasul (C), an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, speaks to women and young girls about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira.
SAFIN HAMED / AFP

Image 5 of 8Rasul (C), an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, speaks to women and young girls about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

6

Women and young girls listen to Rasul, an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, as she peaks about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil.
SAFIN HAMED / AFP

Image 6 of 8Women and young girls listen to Rasul, an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, as she peaks about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira, a small village east of regional capital Arbil. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

7

Rasul (C), an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, speaks to women and young girls about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira.
SAFIN HAMED / AFP

Image 7 of 8Rasul (C), an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, speaks to women and young girls about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

8

Women and young girls listen to Rasul (not pictured), an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, as she peaks about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira.
SAFIN HAMED / AFP

Image 8 of 8Women and young girls listen to Rasul (not pictured), an Iraqi Kurdish activist with the non-profit organisation WADI, as she peaks about the harms of genital mutilation in Sharboty Saghira. SAFIN HAMED / AFP

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Rasul, who herself was cut at a young age, is helping to eradicate FGM in the village of Sharboty Saghira. She has visited the village 25 times to change attitudes and raise awareness against this practice.

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