A UK-based independent report claiming that female genital mutilation (FGM) is being practiced in Iran was released Thursday, which marks the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.
According to British newspaper The Guardian, the report, which was based on a study by social anthropologist Kameel Ahmady, shows that FGM is being practiced in at least four major provinces in Iran.
“FGM is practiced in Iran in some cases to tame girls’ sex drive before marriage; it is made to preserve their chastity,” said Ahmady.
“The attitude of officials and authorities is that FGM doesn’t exist in Iran. The Iranian public is also largely ignorant about the subject,” he said.
The study also claimed that FGM is more prevalent in the southern province of Hormozgan and its nearby islands of Qeshm and Hormuz than in any other parts of the Islamic Republic.
According to the study, FGM was mostly practiced among the Shafi’i sect of Sunni Muslim Iranians, one of the minority communities in the Shiite-dominated country.
The report claims that only a small group of the Shiite population subsiding near the Sunni communities practice FGM.
The research is based on interviews conducted with around 3,000 women who, according to the study, have experienced FGM in Iran.
FGM has been around for centuries. It is being practiced in several cultures and societies, ranging from Coptic and Catholic Christians to some parts of the Middle East and Asia.
Usually preformed on girls ranging between the ages of four and 12 with the partial or total removal of external parts of the female genitalia, it has affected millions of females worldwide.