Baghdad, (IraqiNews.com) On the International Day for Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation, the UN called on the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to take additional steps to eradicate female genital mutilation and cutting against girls in Iraq. According to recent UN data, eight per cent of women aged 15-49 in Iraq have experienced some form of female genital mutilation or cutting when they were girls. The vast majority of them live in the northern governorates of Erbil, Sulaimaniya and Kirkuk. Ms. Jacqueline Badcock, the UN’s Resident Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Development and Humanitarian Affairs in Iraq said in a statement received by IraqiNews.com on Wednesday “There is no justification for causing harm to a child. Female genital mutilation is a violation of the fundamental rights of girls that threatens their health and future opportunities, including giving birth later in life.” “We call on both the Government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional Government to take bold new actions to change this harmful practice that affects the well-being of hundreds of thousands of girls today,” she added. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention of the Rights of the Child, respectively ratified by the Government of Iraq in 1986 and 1994, legally protect the rights of all girls and women in Iraq, including from female genital mutilation. The practice of female genital mutilation was banned by a unanimous resolution at the UN General Assembly on 20 December 2012. It was also condemned by Al-Azhar University in 2006 and outlawed by the Kurdistan Regional Government of Kurdistan with the passing of a Law Against Domestic Violence in 2011.