‘Add Female Genital Mutilation to Domestic Violence Law’ – NAWOGA
Monrovia – A local Non-governmental organization, the National Working Group Against Female Genital Mutilation (NAWOGA FGM) has described as a disservice the omission of the component of 16.21 which addresses the issue of Genital Mutilation.
Report by Henry Karmo – [email protected]
The group said the lawmakers’ action to remove the component of genital mutilation in the Domestic violence act is a contradiction to a commitment made by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on the 27th of September 2015, at a Global Women Human rights conference in the USA.
At a news conference Monday the group has called on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to engage lawmakers to rethink and reconsider the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a global issue rather than a national initiative and considering the psychological and health risk the practice has on women and girls.
“Your Excellency considering your work over the years as women and human rights campaigner, the National Working Group against Genital Mutilation writes to seek your timely intervention in securing the lives of our today and future women and girls and would-be sufferers from the same fate.
“We sincerely acknowledge and appreciate you for the level of tolerance you have exhibited over the years in the fight to eradicate inhuman treatments from the society of Liberia.
Howbeit, even though you have barely five months left in the presidency, we are of the strongest conviction that your intervention can further stimulate actions in the not too distant future.”
Recently, the Liberian Senate concurred with the House of Representatives to pass the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) without the component of FGM.
The concurrence of the bill has been welcomed by many state actor including NGOs who have patiently waited.
The bill seeks to address many vital issues affecting domestic and gender-based violence, but the most contentious issue that stalled its passage has to be the legislation of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as illegal and offenders punishable by law.
Among vital issues, the law seeks to address are Domestic (physical abuse, emotional verbal and psychological abuse, economic abuse) dowry-related violence, offenses against the family, female genital mutilation, sexual abuse, and harassment.