FGM Still Being Practiced In Liberia

By Janjay F. Campbell

The practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is still executed in the country despite the government’s mandate to have such practice suspended.

Serious concern has been raised by citizens of Margibi County complaining that the traditional leaders are not doing anything to put a stop to FGM instead they have ignored the government’s suspension and continue to practice, especially those in the rural areas.

The residents of Kakata few days ago complained that young girls were forced to join the sande society, instead of them going to school to be someone great in the future. One of the residents, (name withheld) said it is common practice from where he comes from.

He said in Bong County Female Genital Mutilation is part of their tradition and cannot be suspended or stopred.  According to him, they are aware that the government suspended the practice, but the government should be aware that this practice is part of their tradition and culture and that nothing can be done about it.

According to him, it’s not about disrespecting the government or anything but that Liberians should know that tradition or culture cannot be changed under any circumstances. He stressed that he is one of those who encourage girls to go to school.

Meanwhile, Siannah Tokpah who lives in central Gbarnga said the practice of FGM can be abolished but that it’s only a matter of time. She said the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Gender and Development can call on the traditional leaders and have a dialogue.

She mentioned that the government did the right thing to suspend the practice of FGM but that it is not enough because the practice is still being carried on. She said it will be stopped; if it can happen in other countries then it can also be done in Liberia.

Early this year, Nobel Peace Laureate, Leymah Gbowee said the government of Liberia should put a stop to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). She said the government should put a stop to it because the practice of FGM is a serious problem for women in Liberia.

She stressed that it should be girls old enough to make their own decision to join and not the little ones who are being forced into it. Madam Gbowee said the practice of FGM has been suspended by the government, but the practice is still ongoing.

Madam Gbowee said girls old enough should make their own choice to join and that the little ones should go to school. She further said that she hopes to see women situation in the country be resolved. The Nobel Peace Laureate who is one of the many voices for women and children said young girls have the right to education and that this tradition that is being practice should not stop these young girls or women education process.