FGM in Iran is not new. However, the scarce availability of data made it practically invisible, even for researchers who looked for evidence of its presence. On the one hand, the Government showed to be reluctant to admit its existence; on the other hand, civil society seemed to remain silent on the issue that became taboo.
Some studies estimate that type I and II FGM are mainly practised among Iraqi migrants and other Kurdish minority groups ranging from 40% to 85%. A 2012 study in the Kermanshah province, in Iran highlights that FGM is a common practice in Ravansars’ women: over 55% of girls have been circumcised at less than 7 years age. A new study in 2015 points out that FGM in some villages is widespread among women and girls (around 60% in some villages of Qeshm Island), especially in the villages of four provinces in the northwest, west and south of Iran. However, within these provinces FGM is not practiced among Turkish Azri and Kurmanji Kurdish speakers, nor in the Southern parts of Kermanshah or Northern areas of Hormozgan. This research study has gained global recognition and was discussed by the Human Rights Council in Geneva 19 June 2015 at a session on eliminating FGM/C.
Iran ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Despite this, Kameel Ahmady portrays a different perspective on FGM in Iran in the documentary, In the Name of Tradition. It was filmed in the Kurdish villages and neighbourhoods of Mahabad and brings evidence through interview with local women and women circumcisers (Bibis/ professional cutters).
We have no Anti-FGM/C NGOs for Iran, but would welcome suggestions. Please contact us.
FGM/C Country of Origin Experts for Iran
Kameel Ahmady is a social anthropologist and originally hails from Iranian Kurdistan. Kameel holds a post-graduate degree in anthropology and visual ethnography from the University of Kent and currently works on community development programmes with focuses on FGM, early child marriage and MGM/C (Male Circumcision). He has a background in social empowerment, family and children right initiatives, and has worked extensively on issues concerning local cultures, migration, minority rights and Middle East affairs. His more recent research projects include a comprehensive study (in English and Farsi/Persian) titled A Comprehensive Research Study On Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting in Iran-2015, a research conducted over the period of ten years along with a short anthropological film In the Name of Tradition on the issue of FGM ( in West Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Kermanshah and Hormozgan). This research study has gained global recognition since it is the first film on FGM in Iran. He wrote three books and published on themes of gender, Diaspora, multiculturalism and modernity in the Middle East. Currently he advises governments and international NGO’s on FGM and related issues in Middle East. Moreover, he is effectively present at numerous international events and conferences.
Osman Mahmoudi works as family counsellor in the province of Kermanshah, Iran and he is in the process of completing his PhD on Family Counselling at the University of Shaheed Chamran of Ahvaz, Iran. Osman founded a counselling centre on FGM cases in the province of Kermanshah, Iran, where classes are held for young people and women concerning psychological and physiological risks of FGM. In spring 2014 he trained 50 Psychology students on FGM. He has a background in counselling, education organisation, psychotherapy and female genital mutilation (FGM). During the last 9 years he gained expertise in health systems strengthening, reproductive health, family planning, HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, monitoring and evaluating programmes, including FGM. His more recent research projects include a comprehensive study, Comparison mental health, sexual functioning and marital satisfaction of couples victim of FGM and other couples (2015 LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing). Currently he is consultant, research and specialist for Stop FGM Middle East Campaign that started in May 2014, Istanbul, Turkey.
We know of no anti-FGM/C Organisations in Iran, but would welcome suggestions. Please contact us.