• Service: Advisory
  • Type: KPMG information
  • Date: 12/18/2013

Law Against Domestic Violence addresses FGM in Kurdistan  

In Iraq, legislative changes brought Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) within the remit of the Law Against Domestic Violence in Kurdistan. This law prohibits the practice of FGM in the region, and defines punishment for those found guilty of its practice. The change was guided by the advocacy of women participating in 88 community based organisations (236 of 591 members being women). These women are continuing to campaign and raise awareness for its implementation
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Key elements of context
  • The GTF programme in Iraq took place in the northern Kurdish region, in the Sulaymaniyah and Erbil governorates. The 88 targeted communities within those governorates are particularly remote and marginalised areas being 80km+ from the main cities.
  • The Kurdish North of Iraq has an autonomous parliament and is self‐governing.
  • Civil society has historically been weak in the region, and focus has been on aid, rather than empowerment and locally led rights‐based approaches.
  • Gender and FGM:
  • Women are particularly marginalised in these regions, with little opportunity to learn about or claim their rights. Due to entrenched beliefs about the role of women, they are severely under-represented in household, community, political and religious decision making or representation. They make up just 9% of the labour force.
  • In Iraq as a whole, 38% of women have undergone FGM as girls, but in the Kurdish North this increases to 73%. A study conducted by WADI stated that the rate in Erbil Governorate is 63%, while in Sulaymaniyah it is 78%.
  • In 2012, 298 honour killings were recorded. The average punishment for the minority of perpetuators who were sentenced was 3 years.
  • In the KRG, 30 women were killed and 97 other women had committed suicide or self‐immolation to escape domestic violence in 2012.