UN Women Liberia Reaffirms Its Support to Fighting FGM

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UN Women Country Representative Madam Nizigama said: “If we want our young girls to grow up safely and healthy, we need all levels of society to say no to FGM.”

—Says ending FGM is essential to give girls control over their own lives

The UN Women Liberia has reaffirmed its continuous support in the fight against female genital mutilation (FGM) in the country.

The UN entity also called on Liberians to make sure that they do not turn their backs on the millions of women and girls who have been affected by FGM.

The advocacy against female genital mutilation originated on December 20, 2012, after a U.N. General Assembly resolution was reached calling on member states to identify global efforts to eliminate female circumcision and raise awareness against the practice.

The resolution recognized female circumcision as a violation of the human rights of women and girls reflecting deep-rooted inequality between the sexes and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women.

Globally, it is estimated that some 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of female circumcision.

Although the practice is declining in some countries where it is prevalent, an estimated 68 million girls are at risk of being mutilated by 2030.

FGM entails the ‘partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injuries to female genital organs for non-medical reasons’ and is normally carried out between infancy and age 15.

It has no health benefits, but immediate and long-term health consequences are numerous: including infections and abnormal scarring, debilitating pain, or death.

In this vein, “I call upon the Government to reinforce efforts in renewing policies such as the Executive Order #92 suspending all FGM practices in Liberia. Ownership and commitment by all key stakeholders including traditional leaders, the Private Sector; Civil Society Organizations; Women’s Movement, is imperative to end all forms of violence against women and girls, including harmful practices such as FGM,” Marie-Goreth Nizigama, UN Women Liberia Country Representative said.

Madam Nizigama made these statements recently when she spoke at the celebration of International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, held in Fortsville, St. John River District, Grand Bassa County.

She emphasized the danger of female circumcision, noting that survivors can often suffer from illnesses as a result of the operation.

“Sometimes these illnesses can lead to death,” Madam Nizigama said, pleading with the public to join the fight against the practice. “If we want our young girls to grow up safely and healthy, we need all levels of society to say no to FGM.”

She recalled that the Ganta, Nimba County policy signed in June 2019 to suspend all Sande Society activities including FGM for one year highlighted an increased level of traditional leaders’ commitment and ownership in ending FGM.

“I would like to extend a special gratitude to the European Union for its generous support to this event through the Spotlight Initiative, which is working to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in Liberia,” she added.

The E.U. Ambassador to Liberia, Laurent Delahousse, emphasized the dwindling number of African countries in which female circumcision is still legal: “Today in Africa, 41 countries used to practice FGM, but 37 have banned the practice – only 4 countries still practising, and Liberia is among those.”

He said while the Liberian government is taking some meaningful steps in its attempt to eliminate the practice, “The government cannot work alone, and it is not for the international community to impose things – it is for you, the people of Liberia, to change this practice. It is for your traditional leaders, the elders, and the women to work together.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. FGM is a disgusting, barbaric and evil practice that is FORCIBLY inflicted upon young women in our county. But some say, it’s our ancestral tradition!.. and others say, it’s our culture!….But I say, tradition and culture, my ass!

    While we’re STILL stuck in our primitive culture, other cultures have achieved greater economic prosperity, better health, longer life, advanced technology, stable government, greater personal safety, etc… than us! Just look around you

    No civilized society should tolerate such barbarity. It’s a damn shame that this cruel, barbaric, ancestral practice (fgm) that is still common in our country! How about surgically removing the penis of any tribal chief who sanctions FGM???

  2. One thing I’d notice about women who had been through that gruesome [RITUAL] of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), was the rate of divorces and separations between partners. Quite often you would hear “DAR TAAR” or They have “SCATTERED”. *That’s the exact Kpelle word for divorce and separation. However, women who had not been through the process of FGM were most likely to stay with their partners much longer. From my observations, it appears FGM is not good for marriages and relationships. No doubt! Men definitely prefer women with the whole package.

  3. only a shock of a pen can put an end to FGM. if women wants it they can make weah sign the document to end FGM in one-day. not by executive order but law send down to the house to be passed. the Yeh or Neh people are waiting, if they don’t, the next elections women will have the voice to say yeh or neh to each and everyone of them whether they voted neh or yeh for FGM.

    from what I see also most, Liberian men stay support FGM and called it our tradition. But time will tell, we shall know them when the law is introduce in the house again.

    today we have mobile phones, 50yrs ago we never had it. if any man says FGM should not end since its our tradition, let him also say he will not use phones since our tradition was to walk and take messages from one end of Liberia to another.

    MEN MUST BEGIN TO TAKE THE LEAD TO STOP FGM. WE ARE THE HEAD OF THE HOME. THIS DECISION IS FOR OUR GIRLS, WIVES, MOTHER’S FUTURE. IT MUST START FROM THE HEAD leader MR.WEAH. OR WE MEN CAN TAKE TO THE STREETS TO PUT AN END TO FGM ONCE AND FOR ALL.

    this is not about tradition, 100yrs ago is completely different from today. We don’t need UN, America, or Europe to come tell us to stop what is harming our female in the community. But its good they are helping to speak cause many who spoke individually were either killed, ran after, or told not told do it anymore or be force to pay for what they say. other flee Liberia or these areas for safety reason.

    I am praying daily for FGM to end in this country. God will hear my prayer one-day and very soon.

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