MONROVIA – The Traditional Council of Liberia headed by Chief Zanzan Kawah has finally banned the practice of Female Genital mutilation (FGM) in all parts of Liberia.
Chief Zanzan Kawah, the Chairman of the Traditional Council, announced the ban on Female Genital Mutilation on Tuesday when he spoke at a program marking the celebration of International Day of Zero Tolerance in Songai Town, Lower Montserrado County.
By Francis G. Boayue
According to Chief Kawah, Liberia as a member of the comity of nations could no longer isolate itself from the rest of the world in holding on to traditional practices, including FGM, which are harmful and violate the rights of women and girls in the country.
He said the issue of the abolition of FGM in Liberia should not be politicized, noting that no one, irrespective of his or her position in the country, has the authority to reintroduce the practice in Liberia.
For her part, Liberia’s Culture Ambassador, Juli Endee, lauded the international community through the UN Women for the respectful manner in which they approached the process leading to the abolition of the FGM practices in the country.
During the program, the UN Women Ambassador to Liberia, Comfort Lamptey, announced the launch of the Expanded Livelihood Support Program in the eleven counties in which FGM was practiced.
She said the program is expected to benefit some 800 Zoes through the establishment of village savings and loan associations as an alternative means of sustaining themselves.
Gender Minister, Madam Williametta Saydee Tarr, for her part, lauded the traditional council of elders headed by Chief Zanzan Kawah and all of its members for ensuring the ban of the practice of FGM in the eleventh of Liberia’s fifteen Counties where it was practiced.
She said the culture of the Sande Society for Girls will continue without the practice of FGM in all parts of Liberia.
She, however, launched the alternative economy and livelihood program which aimed to provide funding for the zones to enhance their sustainability without the practice of FGM.
Equality Now, a feminist organization and partner in Liberia’s fight to end the culture of FGM, Judy Gitau, Africa Regional Coordinator for Equality Now, expressed excitement to see Liberia take a bold step in ending the practice of FGM in Liberia.