Tbilisi, DFWatch – An Institute War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) has unveiled that a small native Caucasian ethnic group living in a remote east area of Georgia, has been performing female genital mutilation (FGM) practice during past two decades.
According to the IWPR girls from an ethnic Avar community of around 3 000 people from Kvareli municipality are being forced to undergo female genital mutilation procedures.
A woman from Saruso village, who refused to name herself, claims that FGM is a part of Muslim tradition and every faithful should allow it.
“We are Muslims. We fast during Ramadan. We observe our Islamic customs. Circumcision is also our custom. We cannot do without it,” she said.
Ethnic Avars, who historically were based in the mountainous part of the Russian republic of Dagestan, have been living in Kakheti of eastern Georgia since 18th century.
Although they’ve lived in Georgia for many years, Avars have kept their traditions, culture and religion.
Local woman from the village Saruso told to IWPR reporter Aida Mirmaksumova that Muslims perform circumcisions on both, boys and girls.
When boys were circumcised, they are taken to the district hospital where a surgeon will operate on them, while for girls rituals are done at home. The skin is cut with scissors and the wound sometimes cleaned with neat alcohol.
“With boys it is more difficult, that is why a doctor should do the work. With girls only an incision is made. Yes, blood flows, but it is not terrible. They can put on their knickers right away and go,” Magomedova said.
The Georgian authorities announced that they didn’t have any information regarding female genital mutilation practice in Georgia. The government has pledged to investigate the case.