The militant group Islamic State has ordered all women and girls in and around Iraq’s northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the United Nations said Thursday.
Some chatter on social media sites, however, doubts the validity of the report.
A U.N. spokesman said they were looking into the issue, and there has not been any comments released from the Islamic State.
If the order is true, it would affect about 4 million women and girls, U.N. resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq Jacqueline Badcock told reporters in Geneva.
"We have current reports of imposition of a directive that all female children and women up to the age of 49 must be circumcised. This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed," Badcock said.
"This is not the will of Iraqi people, or the women of Iraq in these vulnerable areas covered by the terrorists," she added.
The procedure is called FGM and is a tradition in many African and Muslim countries that is believed to prevent “immoral” actions.
According to Reuters, more than 130 million girls and women have undergone the procedure.
Publication date: July 25, 2014