FGM Makes Women ‘Suffer Many Medical Complications’ – Liberian Gynecologist
Monrovia – Dr. John Mulbah, one of Liberia’s leading Gynecologist, says there is increased medical complications for women who are mutilated or go through cutting in the Sande bush.
Report by Bettie K. Johnson-Mbayo, [email protected]
He said Fistula is one of the many complications because those carrying out Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) are not familiar with the parts of a woman’s body.
FGM is the ritual cutting or removal of some or all external female genitalia, a practice observed throughout Liberia.
“They do not necessarily know the part to cut because they don’t know the anatomy of the woman so sometimes while cutting, they end up cutting affecting the blood vessels,” he said.
He spoke at the Liberia Feminist Forum working session on the theme ‘Legal analysis of proposed Domestic Violence and Anti FGM bill’ on Wednesday in Monrovia.
According to him, a “community chain” is the only way to end FGM because many traditional leaders depend on the act to survive.
Cllr. Abla Williams of the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL) and Liberia Feminist Forum (LFF) said it is preferable for people to consent before the act is committed instead of parents compelling children.
She said Liberia is a signatory to many laws that abolished FGM but it is still been practice.
She added that the forum is aimed at reviewing some terminology in the proposed bill which is not stated clearly.
“We are in a fight with the political norms and political will, so we have to do thorough research and get people who have actually have the experience to look at the bill before presenting to the Legislature,” said Cllr. Williams.
Tonieh Tarlery-Wiles of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights disclosed that there are several FGM cases and the commission is working with the complainant and accused.
“We are saying that parents should not compel their kids to be mutilated and be tortured. We have to uphold the international protocols, we should not hide behind cultural harmful practices,” she said.
Facia Harris, a member of LFF, added that it is time President Weah re-issued Executive Order #92, banning the practice of FGM for girls under age 18.
On January 18, 2018, former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf issued Executive Order #92 which has now expired. She said the analysis of both proposed bills is to ensure that it wouldn’t return but swiftly passed into law.