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Security Forces Also Attacked Women and Girls in Raids on Homes

(New York) – Syrian government forces have used sexual violence to torture men, women, and boys detained during the current conflict. Witnesses and victims also told Human Rights Watch that soldiers and pro-government armed militias have sexually abused…
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Bill Shows Commitment to End Violence Against Women

(Beirut) - A Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) law that bans female genital mutilation (FGM) is a crucial step in eradicating the practice, Human Rights Watch said today. The Family Violence Bill, approved by the Kurdistan parliament on June 21, 2011,…
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The Kurdistan Islamic Scholars Union, the highest Muslim authority in Iraqi Kurdistan for religious pronouncements and rulings, issued a fatwa or religious edict last month. This would not have been particularly newsworthy, except that this particular…
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Edict Says Female Genital Mutilation not Prescribed by Islam but Doesn’t Ban It

(Beirut) - A religious edict  by the Kurdistan Islamic Scholars Union on female genital mutilation (FGM) sends a clear signal that the practice is not prescribed by Islam, Human Rights Watch said today. The edict, however, does not call for an outright…
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Violence in Iraq may have abated. But in the northern region of Kurdistan, women continue to suffer. A new report by Human Rights Watch, out this week, calls for a ban on the widespread practice of female circumcision in Kurdistan. Known locally as "…
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1.     What is female genital mutilation (FGM)? The World Health Organization (WHO) defines FGM as "all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or injury to the female genital organs for non-medical…
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For years now, women’s groups in Southern Africa have campaigned tirelessly to ensure that the Southern African Development Community adopt the Protocol on Gender and Development. Yesterday, the SADC finally took that historic step. Member states will be…
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Summit Leaders Should Act on Equality for Women

(Johannesburg) - Southern African leaders should adopt the proposed Gender and Development Protocol at their upcoming summit after amending it to include crucial provisions deleted in 2007, Human Rights Watch said today. One of the most important…