Proposal handed to parliament for preventing FGM
The Pana organization, in cooperation with the German Wadi and Dutch Hivos handed the Iraqi Council of Representatives a proposal with a set of laws for the prevention of female genital mutilation.
The organizations published an announcement on the international day of female genital mutilation, demanding that the United Nations concentrate their attempts in reducing and preventing female genital mutilation in the entire world.
According to the statistics, there are more than 140 million women in the world that have had their genitals mutilated. In regard to Kirkuk, which is a multiethnic province, a survey conducted on 1,212 women by the Wadi and Pana organizations revealed that 38% of the participants’ genitals were mutilated.
Wadi and Hivos both praised the law which was issued on July 20, 2011 in the Kurdistan Region to confront and eradicate domestic violence, and they described the law as a magnificent decision in the region, while stating that it is just the stepping stone and further attempts to reinforce the law and its implementation should be carried out.
The Pana organization, in cooperation with Wadi and Hivos prepared a set of laws for the prevention of female genital mutilation, and are planning to hand it to the Iraqi Council of Representatives to pass the proposal as rules of conduct to decrease and prevent the practice of female genital mutilation.
Draft Law on the Prevention of female genital mutilation for Iraq
Note: this draft has been proposed by the PANA Center on the 6th of February, 2013, on the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation; it was prepared by Falah Moradkhan, Iraq project coordinator of WADI e.V.
In this Law the following words shall have the following meanings set against them below:
First: The government – the central federal government of Iraq
Second: female – every one of the female gender from birth and till passing away; “youth, young women, girls, women, the elderly, married and single.”
Third: female genital mutilation – Female genital mutilation (FGM) is defined according to the definition of FGM by the World Health Organization (WHO): “Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”
Female genital mutilation is prohibited in the Republic of Iraq. Whoever commits female genital mutilation or participates in the exercise or is attending such a procedure falls under legal punishment and is punished according to one of the following paragraphs:
1. Anyone who commits female genital mutilation or participates in the exercise shall be punished by imprisonment for a term not less than one year and a fine of not less than one million and not more than four million dinars.
It is emphasized, that if the perpetrator is a doctor or a health professional, an authorized midwife or a professional from the sector of education or a cleric, the Professional Union, of which they are members, shall withdraw their license. (Kleriker, Unions, etc.)
2. Anyone over the age of 18 who was attending a procedure of female genital mutilation and did not interfere to prevent it or did not inform the authorities, shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not less than six months and a fine of not less than two million dinars.
3. Anyone who commits female genital mutilation against a deficient (under 18) shall be punished in the strongest penalties prescribed in this Act or the Iraqi Penal Code.
4. Anyone who commits female genital mutilation resulting in death shall be punished in accordance with Article 405 of the Iraqi Penal Code and there is no justification for the non-implementation of that article.
5. Anyone who encourages the practice of female genital mutilation and urges somebody to commit it shall be punished with the same penalties as in the first paragraph of this article; if the perpetrator belongs to the specified groups, he or she shall fall under the strongest penalties and their professional licenses shall be revoked.
As defined in Article one female genital mutilation comprises physical interventions for non-medical reasons. Specific medical reasons for such physical interventions shall be confirmed by a specialized doctor and a medical committee.
The victim of female genital mutilation or any members of her family up to the second degree or the prosecutor have the right to register a lawsuit.
The complaint under this law shall not be subject to the rule of limitation.
Iraqi laws in force or the rules of international human rights signed by Iraq will be referred to for the implementation of this law and the cases that it has not addressed.
Assistance, psychological health care and full support shall be provided for females who have been subject to this practice in order to rehabilitate them physically and socially.
Any law inconsistent with the provisions of this law will not be implemented.
This law is valid as of the date of its publication in the Iraqi Gazette.
Reasons requiring this law:
Female genital mutilation is a cruel and violent crime whose victims are usually young girls, whose health, psychological well-being, family and social life are affected and jeopardized by it. It is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women. Rejected by the World Health Organization and banned by the UN assembly in December of 2012, it is also prohibited by the CEDAW treaty, signed by Iraq. It was condemned by the Al-Azhar University in 2006 and has been banned in the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq in 2011.
Meanwhile, reports prove that this crime still has some permanence in Iraq; therefore, it has been decided to ban it by way of this law.