WANEP Trains 30 Community Leaders to Fight FGM, Sassywood, Others

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About thirty chairpersons of various communities from six of the 15 counties were recently trained in how to abolish some traditional practices, including female genital mutilation (FGM), administering of Sassywood (trial by ordeal) and those of body tattoos.

The communities were selected from Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Nimba, River Gee and Maryland counties.

Philip M. Kollie, head of a locally-based civil society organization called West Africa Network for Peace (WANEP), said the training was intended to eradicate some harmful traditional practices, as well as their side effects, on citizens.

Kollie said traditional practices, such as female circumcision  and the marking of tattoos on the body, are harmful, “because they are usually practiced with the use of one instrument on several of those who endure the exercise.”

He made the observation recently in Ganta, Nimba County, at a week-long workshop that brought together participants from those communities.

“Trial by ordeal is also one of the traditional practices that should be abolished, because taking an oath subjects you to things you personally wouldn’t want to do. However, you must suffer the consequences if you refuse to do them,” Kollie said.

Key among the topics presented by facilitators included gender-based violence.

The workshop was held under the theme “Engaging Traditional, Religious, Educational Institutions and Relevant Stakeholders in the Prevention and Response to SGBV and Harmful Traditional Practices.”

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