Previous studies reported that parent’s decisions to circumcise their daughters are based on religious or cultural beliefs. The effectiveness of educational strategies to change attitudes towards FGM has not been examined in this region. The present investigation examined the effectiveness of a short-term educational intervention to change the attitudes of parents and religious leaders towards FGM.

192 religious leaders, 212 traditional leaders, and 523 parents in rural areas in Iraqi Kurdistan were invited to participate in an interventional study. The Health Belief Model informed the intervention, and participants’ attitudes were compared.

The attitudes of Mullahs, Mokhtars, and parents substantially changed from a position of supporting female circumcision to expressing a wish to abandon the practice and not cut their future daughters.

The study concluded through its findings that brief educational interventions can be an effective strategy for changing the attitudes of parents and public leaders towards FGM. Health education is a useful strategy for changing attitudes. However, such interventions must be delivered alongside other strategies to ensure a multifaceted approach to addressing complex social dynamics.