According to the UN, if true and implemented, the "fatwa" by the Sunni Muslim fighters would affect 4 million women and girls. "We have current reports of imposition of a directive that all female girl 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," said U.N. resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq Jacqueline Badcock in Geneva.
In some Muslim countries and African tribes, FGM continues to be a tradition justified as a means of minimizing a woman's sexual desire and preventing immoral behaviour by them.
According to some UN reports, worldwide, more than 130 million girls and women have undergone FGM in many African tribes and Muslim countries. The UN also observes the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation on February 6 each year since 2003. The day is observed create awareness about the inhuman act of female genital mutilation and promote its worldwide eradication.