A report has told that al-Qaeda-Inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has ordered all girls and women between the ages of 11 and 46 in and around Iraq’s northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation.
Told Jacqueline Badcock, the number two U.N. official in Iraq via alarabiya.net: ‘It is a fatwa (or religious edict) of ISIS, we learnt this this morning,’
The ‘fatwa‘ would potentially affect 4 million women and girls.
Reiterated Badcock: ‘This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed,’
‘This is not the will of Iraqi people, or the women of Iraq in these vulnerable areas covered by the terrorists.’
Mosul city currently has some two million people, more than half of whom are women as there are many female-headed households in the area. Several more million people live in surrounding areas.
Added Badcock: ‘There are reports of rapes of women, of forced marriages.’
In recent years, the practice of female genital mutilation has been more of a problem in Kirkuk among Kurds.
The world body has ‘zero contact’ with ISIS, but works through tribal leaders in the affected areas, Badcock said. ‘I can’t give you any more details until we have been on the ground to get information,’ she said of the directive.
FGM, the partial or total removal of external female genitalia, is a tradition practiced widely in many countries and often justified as a means of suppressing a woman’s sexual desire to prevent ‘immoral‘ behavior.
Worldwide, more than 130 million girls and women have undergone FGM and more than 700 million women alive today were children when they were married.