Due to persistent practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the National Working Group Against Female Genital Mutilation (NAWOGA-FGM) has taken its fight against the practice to the 54th Legislature and to the office of President George M. Weah where the group wants decisive actions that will put an end to the practice.
Over the weekend in Monrovia, the women appreciated the International Women’s Day celebrations the UN set aside each year on March 8.
NAWOGA-FGM’s publicity coordinator, Tamba F. J. Johnson said it is about time Liberia sees reasons to put an end to the FGM as part of the traditional practices.
Tamba said in observance of International Women Day, the difficulties and challenges women go through are not flagged just for mere story telling, but for tangible actions meant to bring relief to them by eliminating the FGM.
“Women’s challenges are flagged through speeches, press statements, and panel discussions, so as to call on the government and other concerned institutions to ensure that inhumane treatments against them are eradicated. We need a space to integrate and promote equal representations and many other opportunities to form part of decision-making as well as occupy positions without discrimination or being molested,” Tamba said.
On behalf of NAWOGA-FGM, Tamba has appealed to government to legislate a law that will end the practice of the FGM as a means of adhering to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of 2015.
The SDGs calls on all nations to ensure the end of the FGM by 2030.
“We are calling on the 54th Legislature to kindly give attention to the women parity bill, which was introduced during the 53rd Legislature by former Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, who is now Vice President,” Tamba appealed.
Even though Tamba doesn’t not know the actual reason why the 53rd Legislature did not attend to the women parity bill, it is NAWOGA-FGM’s appeal now to the sitting lawmakers to consider that the bill is passed.
“We are also appealing to government to appoint more, if not equal in number to men, qualified women to positions of trust so as to bridge the gender gaps. It is our prayer that the pro-poor agenda succeeds, but not to neglect the girls and women in the various communities and schools,” he said.
Tamba challenged the government to take robust action to put an end to the many reported ritualistic killings, rapes and gruesome domestic violence allegedly perpetuated against women and girls.
He strongly appealed, on behalf of NAWOGA-FGM, to the government to bring sanity to the plight of women across the country.
It can be recalled that on Thursday March 8, hundreds of Women and some of their male counterparts assembled at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports complex in Paynesville to observe the International Women’s Day.
On the theme, “Press for Progress,” the keynote speaker, Madam Lemah Gbowee observed how many of the women have gone through lots of difficult circumstances, and it is about time government and everyone, particularly men who consider themselves in the class of #HeforShe# work for the equality of men and women.
She called on all in positions to realize that women, when given the chance, can do better to bring change and progress to the country.
Regarding the law to put an end to FGM, Bomi County District #3 Representative, Haja Fatta Siryon, said the Legislature is ignoring important bills as may be perceived by people out there, adding that the bill concerning the eradication of FGM is in Committee rooms of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
“We have to give Committees a chance each to properly go through the pros and cons associated with each of the cases presented to the Legislature. That’s why people with expertise head each of those committees to revisit the gender parity bill and other gender related bills.
According to UNICEF’s report, about 125 million girls and women have suffered genital circumcision and 29 countries, including Liberia are still practicing the FGM even though most of them are all signatories to international protocols that called for human dignity and fair treatment.