In the Name of Tradition

A Comprehensive Research Study on Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting (FGM/C) in Iran

Farsi Publication: Shirazeh/ 2015

English Publication: Un-Cut/Voices Press, UK 2015

   Download PDF in English   Download updated research PDF in English   Download PDF in Farsi 

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a long-standing ritual that continues to be widespread today. It is a violation of various aspects of women’s sexual rights, and the term ‘female genital mutilation’ is a more realistic reference than ‘female cutting’, which has gained traditional legitimacy. Sometimes the term used is ‘female genital mutilation / cutting’ (FGM/C).

Various factors influence the beliefs, norms, attitudes, and political and economic systems contributing to this tradition. There are some studies on the prevalence of genital mutilation in Iran, but they have only a limited range. This comprehensive study over several years examined, analyses and scrutinizes the practice of female genital mutilation in Iran and shows that FGM is prevalent in the four provinces of West Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Kermanshah and Hormozgan. The study seeks to lay the foundation for a comprehensive plan in Iran to combat female genital mutilation, training and raising awareness, to incorporate it into the global eradication agenda.

The findings of this research are important from two perspectives: first, they provide the foundation for future studies and research in Iran, which is very necessary, and develop a framework for increasing awareness that female genital mutilation continues. More broadly,, this research also challenges the belief that the prevalence of this practice is only limited to Africa. It provides clear evidence that women and girls’ genital mutilation is found in the Middle East, in areas of Asia and specifically in some provinces of Iran, in addition to Africa. Revealing this fact will help Iranian society and international human rights advocacy committees to engage in dialogue with the stakeholders in Iran to fight against it.

The recommendations of this research have been published in both Farsi and English and can be effective for local communities. The research provides for the first-time access to much reliable and up-to-date data on the continuation of female genital mutilation/cutting in Iran, providing information for the government, NGOs and various individuals. The research findings also address issues around female genital mutilation in Iran for global assemblies such as the United Nations and UNICEF, and may even lead to recommendations from international organizations that address this issue.

The author of this book, Kameel Ahmady, first encountered a region where female genital mutilation/cutting was prevalent during his studies and whilst undertaking some charitable work in Africa. FGM was his main motivation for conducting the studies, returning to Iran where FGM was discovered by him in his own family. The research took several years to complete.

Two years after the publication of his first research on female genital mutilation/cutting, Kameel Ahmady returned to the identified locations with his research team. During this time, he began to enlighten and educate local people face to face about female genital mutilation/cutting.

Kameel Ahmady wanted to gauge the impact of education on reducing the prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting in the studied areas; his new report on 2016 suggested that education via pilot programmes had led to a significant decrease in female genital mutilation/cuttings.

The report, titled The Changing Paradigms of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, was published as an appendix to the book, In the Name of Tradition.

Kameel Ahmady has also produced an eponymous documentary film (In the Name of Tradition), produced during field work on female genital mutilation. It has been broadcast on numerous television programs and various festivals outside of Iran.

Changing community attitudes, raising the awareness of the physical, sexual and psychological harms of female genital mutilation/cutting, rural migration to cities, the deaths of traditional Bebis (old women who perform FGM) with lack interest from younger generation to take on their place and an unwillingness to continue this work, The impacts of social networks and media have also been key factors in a reduction in the rate of female genital mutilation/cutting in recent years.

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Related Articles:

In the Name of Traditions: A Comprehensive Study on the Impact of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on Women and Girls An Overview of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Iran

THE CHANGING PARADIGMS OF FGM (Country Report on Female Genital Mutilation/ Cutting (FGM/C) in Iran

In the Name of Tradition. Female Genital Mutilation in Iran

Conference Presentation

Harmful traditions practice: A comprehensive study on female genital mutilation in Iran

Female Genital Mutilation In Iran (A Research Report)

Abstract The Politics of Culture – FGM for Journal

The Politics of Culture-FGM for Journal

Historical perspective & global prevalence

Harmful Traditions Practice – FGM Article

Social Context – FGM in iran


Online shopping book link:

In the Name of Tradition, Kameel Ahmady, English version, UnCUT/Voices Press

In the Name of Tradition, Kameel Ahmady, English version, Amazon

Summary link PDF version of the research, In the Name of Tradition

Updated research on FGM: PDF version of the research, THE CHANGINGPARADIGMSOF FGM/C2017 Country Report on FGM/C in Iran

Link PDF version of the research (in Farsi)

In the Name of Tradition, Kameel Ahmady, Shirazeh Publishing (in Farsi)

In the Name of Tradition, Kameel Ahmady, Online Book City (Farsi)


Film of “In the Name of Tradition”:

In the name of tradition, the first documentary film on female genital mutilation in Iran

In the Name of Tradition (Female Genital Mutilation in Iran – film by Kameel Ahmady)

Film review: “In the name of tradition” – FGM in Iran

Media coverage:

Reuters: Anthropologist reveals FGM practised in western, southern Iran

Guardian: Female genital mutilation practised in Iran, study reveals

Hilary Burrage: Kameel Ahmady, British-Iranian Anthropologist and academic, Detained In Iran – News Updates

Independent: My British friend was imprisoned in Iran after the UK government seized their oil tanker. Now they won’t let him go

Kameel Ahmady—British-Iranian Anthropologist Arrested in Iran

Scotsman: World needs to shout about scholars silenced by the state

Mena: Iran nimmt weiteren Doppelstaatsbürger als Geisel für Verhandlungen

Orchid project: FGM in Iran

No FGM: Kameel Ahmady: Female Genital Mutilation In Iran (A Research Report)

Film review: “In the name of tradition” – FGM in Iran

Volkskrant: Unicef onderschat ernst besnijdenis in Iran

A review of the book “In the Name of Tradition – Female Genital Mutilation in Iran” par Kameel Ahmady

Award ceremony at George Washington University: A Mini United Nations Convenes In Washington, D.C.

IKWRO the True Honour Awards 2017 at Law University, London

BanFGM Conference on the worldwide ban on female genital mutilation

Rudaw: Study reveals shocking FGM prevalence in Iran

Defend Democracy: Human right report

News week: Female genital mutilation performed in Iran

Catholic: The Nightmare of Female Genital Mutilation: A sad reality many young girls in Iran continue to face

UN: Report of the UN watch of FGM in Iran
Rights in Exile: FGM/C Country of Origin Experts for Iran

A message from Iran

Video and TV Interviews:

Interview with the program, In other words, the BBC Persian

Take a look at the film “In the Name of Tradition” in the apparatus, BBC Persian

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting and Child Marriage in Iran: Interview with the BBC

Looking at the film “In the Name of Tradition” in the apparat, BBC Persian

Apart Conversation with Director Kameel Ahmady and Director of Iranian Women’s Rights Organization, Diana Nami, about Iranian and Kurdish film “In the Name of Tradition”

Interview with IRNA; Reduce female circumcision statistics

Song: A Song from one to a Thousand, by Chiman Rahmani. Advisor and Sponsor: Kameel Ahmady

Interview with Rudow TV channel about female genital mutilation

Manoto Network: International Day for the Fight Against “Female Genital Mutialtion”: 200 million women are victimized worldwide

Iran International: World Day against Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

Macholand Live Chat: Kameel Ahmady

Media coverage (in Farsi):

Sexual Retribution / Female Genital Mutilation in Iran! / Kameel Ahmady

Online News: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting under the roof of ignorance / women themselves culpable for sexual misconduct

VOA: Sexual Mutilation of Girls and Women in Iran

Deutsche Welle: Victims of female genital mutilation more than speculation

Radio Farda: Reduction of the Statistic of Female Circumcision and Government Responsibility

Radio Zamaneh: Genital Mutilation/Cutting; a blade that has injured 200 million women worldwide

Kayhan London: New research on female circumcision and underage marriage in Iran

Deutsche Welle: There is no policy to end female circumcision or genital mutilation in Iran

BBC: Results of a study: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting is performed in four provinces of Iran

International: 50% reduction of Female Genital Mutilation in Hormozgan

Safe House: Violence in the name of tradition

National Key: Review of the book “Women and Tradition” by Kameel Ahmady

Kurdish Press: Female genital mutilation is not recognized in Iranian law

RKNA: Hormozgan has the highest rate of female genital mutilation/cutting in Iran / They believe it is forbidden to drink water from an uncircumcised girl

Event 24: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting – a tradition that still victimized in Iran / A bitter story of a girl who was circumcised as a child

Today’s culture: “In the name of tradition”, a comprehensive research on female circumcision in Iran

Zeytoon: Slowing down the “razor of tradition” on women

Women’s Today Magazine: In the Name of Tradition (Research on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting)

Borna: A 50% reduction in female circumcision in Iran / The direct relationship between this practice and child-marriage

Today’s approach: Female circumcision; violence in the name of tradition

Health News: Ministry of Health addresses female Genital Mutilation/Cutting issue

Awakening: Female circumcision in Iran, a silent tragedy

Event 24: the prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting in the southern regions of Hormozgan

Fararo: Reduction of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Iran

Didar News: The violence “in the name of tradition”

Afghanistan Women’s News Agency: Result of a study: Women’s circumcision in Iran is declining

Ensaf News: “People say: the girl was filthy!”

Iran News: Female circumcision in the name of tradition; female genital mutilation/cutting, from Africa to Hormozgan Iran

Iranians in England: In the Name of Tradition (A Look at the female genital mutilation/cutting in Iran – A Movie by Kameel Ahmady)