Liberia: Montserrado Leads Initiation without Female Genital Mutilation Practice in Sande Society
Sonkay Town, Montserrado County – The Chairperson and National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia (NACCEL), in an effort to abolish female genital mutilation in Liberia, Montserrado County Traditional Council has taken the lead to continue the Sande society initiation without the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in its culture for girls.
By Francis G. Boayue, [email protected]
The National traditional council and the Government of Liberia, along with UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador for the abolishment of FGM in Africa, over the weekend, conducted a ritual event to end FGM practice in all parts of Liberia.
The abolishment of FGM practices in Montserrado County is in fulfillment of the commitment made at the end of a consultative meeting among traditional leaders held in Ganta, Nimba County in 2019.
Speaking Friday at a program marking the closure of rituals of initiation without Mutilation on Female Genital Mutilation in Liberia, the Chairperson of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders, Zanzan Kawah committed to ensuring that all Zoes within that part of the country surrender the practice of FGM.
According to Chief Kawah, the agreement also called for the withdrawal of documents of all Zoes, Chiefs, and elders in Montserrado County and threaten harsh consequences including traditional.
He said the Sande society (a women’s initiation society) will now continue without the practice of female genital mutilation, but rather a place where girls go to learn about service and humility for adulthood.
Ambassador Juli Endee, Cultural Ambassador, for her part, has welcomed the decision of the Chairperson and National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia (NACCEL) for steps taken to abolish the practice of FGM in Liberia.
She further lauded AMb. Jaha Dukureh, a Gambian women’s rights activist and anti-female genital mutilation campaigner for being a partner in the progress to end the practice of FGM in all parts of Africa, including Liberia.
Speaking on behalf of the Government of Liberia, Gender Minister Williametta Saydee-Tarr, said the decision of the traditional chiefs to ban FGM practices in Montserrado demonstrates NCCE’s support towards the President who has been working to ensure that harmful traditional practices are abolished.
According to Minister Saydee-Tarr: “To protect women and girls from abuse we must make available sustained livelihoods in that will ensure that all FGM practices are permanently banned in Liberia,” Madam Saydee-Tarr said.