After announcing numerous reports through various associations and publishing materials, finally one of the provincial governors of Hormozgan was well informed:
Director General of the Office of Social and Cultural Affairs of Hormozgan Governorate has stated that we will have meetings with scholars on circumcision of girls.
Director General of the Office of Social and Cultural Affairs of Hormozgan governorate has stated that there is no definite statistics on the circumcision of girls, but the majority of the people of the province adhere to this issue. He has said that since this issue is based on religious principles, it is very difficult to get into this issue and it is opposed to this unless the attitudes of the scholars and religious leaders of these societies change. We have plans in this regard. One of the plans is to send advisers to have meetings with scholars and elders in these areas and say that female circumcision has a very negative psychological impact.
He remarked: At the meetings of the Social Security Staff, we opened the girls’ discussion about the circumcision, and the mindset was getting more prepared. We had meetings with advisers and talked, and now it’s better to have an interventionist approach in this regard.
This despite the fact that the director of public relations at Bandar Abbas University of Medical Sciences (Norouzian ) had said: Female circumcision is not routine and it is not known, and if it is done in the family, it is completely secretly, not in the doctor’s office. This action is a moral, legal, medical, and health mistake, and if we know who is doing these activities, we will surely avoid it, but because it is done in secret, it is unidentifiable. Because this is not common practice, public education cannot be provided, but in the past 20 years when this was done in Kong Bandar, one of the health center personnel at that time was able to educate and inform the inhabitants of the port about the progress of this action.
Also, Pari Sayyadi, Director General of the Office of Women and Family Affairs of Hormozgan Province has stated:
The statistics provided by some sites are far from reality. We have not seen such a case during the periodic trips we have to the provincial towns. I myself have witnessed cases of female genital mutilation in other provinces that I did not name, but about women 40 years ago. Of course, in the same provinces, that is not common.
A new announcement of a meeting with scholars shows that officials and practitioners have finally accepted the practice of circumcision in the province. It is hoped that such news will be heard in other provinces like Kermanshah, Kurdistan and East Azerbaijan.
Statistics show that with different distributions, about 60% of women living in Hormozgan Province tend to circumcise their daughters; this figure in other provinces is about 30%. In 1394 (2015), some news reported that a girl in Buchan was referred to the hospital due to the severity of the injuries caused by hemorrhage and severe hemorrhage. It was hoped that such an accident would alarm the authorities!
Female sexual abortion is prohibited in many countries of the world. In Iran, according to some current laws, Diyah (blood money) is also granted to female genital mutilation.
Article 664 of the Islamic Penal Code, adopted in 2013, also states that “the removal of either side of the woman’s genitals causes half of the woman’s full diyah (blood money), and the interruption and destruction of some part of the body has Diyah.”In this decree, there is no difference between virgin and non-virgin, young and adult, healthy and defective, such as rebellion and coronation.
In addition to this article, other provisions of the same law have addressed similar issues:
Article 704: Eliminating the power of ejaculation or reproduction of a man or pregnancy of a woman or destroying the pleasures of male or female intercourse leads to Arsh.
Article 708: Eliminating or permanent or temporary damaging other senses such as trickling, sleeping, and menstrual periods, as well as causing diseases such as tremor, thirst, hunger, fear and faint lead to Arsh.
Article 449: “Arsh” is a non-tangled diyah which amount is not specified in the Shari’ah. The court determined the extent of the crime in terms of the type and quality of the crime and its impact on the health of the innocent and the amount of damage incurred by considering the deceased and with the opinion of the expert. The rules of determined Diyah are subject to Arsh, unless otherwise provided in this law.
By Rayehe Mozafarian
More than 7000 communities across Africa are working to abandon FGM. But there are some other countries in the Middle East and Asia where FGM is also common as a tradition. Despite the efforts of some organizations in the Middle East and Asia mutual cooperation between the respective governments and international organizations is difficult in some countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and etc.
FGM is tradition and culture which is still continued by women themselves. Although FGM is also men’s demand it can only be kept alive if women are complicit. There are no reports that FGM is done by doctors, educated nurses or midwives in Iran. The studies show that girls are mostly mutilated by native women.
Local surgeon women who do this operation and have learned it hereditary are known as Daye. Most of them are old women who learned it from their mothers or grandmothers. In modern times one thing is particularly important to note that the process of becoming and being Daye still continues. “Becoming Daye” can be defined as the process in which a woman with her own desire, social craving, illness and death of a former Daye or etc. accepts responsibility for the mutilation of girls and after a while the others will know her as Daye. There will by Dayes for at least another 40 years as in some villages, young Dayes still accept this responsibility.
Daye with several other women (in most cases the mother) as an assistant or helper circumcise the girls. For reducing injuries, the assistant holds the girl’s hand and feet strongly to prevent additional movements. In some cases, it has been reported that FGM is done by the closest person for instance the mother, grandmother or aunts.
FGM is usually done with a razor and without anesthesia medicine. It is rare that they use other kinds of sharp instrument. These women have different approaches to disinfect the place of cut. They often use Betadine, but in places where accessory to disinfection is difficult they use ashes of fire or cloths, natural soil and the smoke of turpentine.
In my travels to different parts of south, I visited various villages to find Daye and inquire about FGM. It can be estimated that there is at least one Daye in each village and in some can be found more.
I asked a Daye: “Why did you circumcise your granddaughter?” her face was broken and aging, laughed and said: “We have mercy, they cry and I can do the operation”. It was the points of view which should be corrected. In fact, I need to find the root of their passion for doing FGM which was completely different with my experience. Barbarity and cruelty were not a good reason.
Most people who have never seen these women think of them as butchers, violent, cruel and heartless but for me that I am in search of “why the continuation of FGM” for many years – and the presence of a Daye is one of the fundamental factors – the image of these women is different. Before I was so involved in the issue of FGM, I was surprised by the cruelty of these women. This image had changed when I traveled and talked to them myself. Their laughter, their hospitality, their warm greeting, shaking hands and kissing on their hands, all of them had no signs of cruelty and violence. They were deprived of the best education and facilities like all other disadvantages areas. But they would like to learn and continue their firm beliefs and circumcise the girls to practice and respect their religious tradition.
While most researchers believe that female genital mutilation is not rooted in Islam, people in areas where circumcision is carried out do so according to the Hadith of the Prophet and the Imams of the Shafi’i School to show thier commitment to religion. Although there is no compelling reason to do circumcision in Islam on girls.
What’s the solution?
4 steps to prevent the continuation of FGM must be considered. 4 social groups will be involved to improve their awareness.
- Stop the process of becoming a Daye
One of the important factors in development of each country is to reduce maternal mortality. This index is a good measure to show the extension of accessibility and availability of facilities, especially for pregnant women. So each country try to develop its potential to show its development such as access to health centers, facilitate transport and routes, especially in rural areas (rural network), emergency medical services, the cost of health care, women’s literacy status, etc.
In the eighties and nineties, the Ministry of Health and Medical Sciences decided to work together to improve the health of pregnant mothers and also promote the development of Iran. Then they start to find and identify local midwives in each villages and stop them assisting deliveries at home. These midwives were forced to sign a strong commitment to withdraw from their responsibilities. The project was very successful. The village can be found below where delivery takes place at home. This story can be repeated in the same situation for eliminating FGM in Iran. If the government wants, they can find the Daye, get them more right information then stop them to continue their jobs. Because more nurses who are active in FGM they worked as maternal health care.
- Improving the knowledge of women:
Another important aspect in reducing the prevalence of FGM is informing the women of the communities. Women’s literacy rates are not high in these areas so it is necessary to organize rural educational workshop and inform them of the dangers of FGM. Very good examples of these activities for the prevention of FGM are organized in Iraqi Kurdistan since more than 10 years ago with the participation of government and non-governmental organizations. Women gather together in each village, they watch an educational film, talk about their experiences and their sexual health issues and finally the session ends with the presentation of gifts. This session does not mean that the activists leave areas forever, after informing women the prevention process will be monitored.
- Informing religious leaders
Another social group who have an impact on the eradication of FGM are the Mullahs and religious leaders. The importance of this segment of society is due to its dominance on the traditions and religious traditions, Hadith and Quran and more importantly they have close relations with the men of the community. These religious leaders can make men aware of the dangers of FGM and persuade them to discontinue FGM with their religious messages.
- Doctors, midwives and nurses:
Experience has shown that residents of deprived areas share their physical health problems with the doctors and trust them to talk about everything. So the doctors explain about the danger of FGM and sexual hygiene. Because the doctors are being sent from different regions and FGM is underground, it is necessary to inform nursing and medical students.