Women Push for Law to Ban FGM

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After calls from local women groups in Liberia, including the Women Solidarity Incorporated (WOSI), Girls Alliance for Future Leadership, and the National Working Group Against Female Genital Mutilation (NAWOGA-FGM), asking lawmakers to enact laws to ban the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Liberia, a report has shown that not only Liberian women are campaigning against the harmful traditional practice, as women activists in India are also calling on their government to put an end to FGM.

According to VOA, three quarters of women among India’s Dawoodi Bohra sect have also undergone FGM, a practice of female circumcision. The study was published after officials said there was no data to support the existence of FGM in the country.

Activists therefore expressed the hope that after the large survey, there will be a law that will strengthen the ban on the secretive ritual, which they think causes physical, emotional, and sexual harm against women.

The Dawoodi Bohra, a Shi‘ite Muslim sect thought to number up to 2 million worldwide, considers the ritual, known as khafd, a religious obligation, although it is not mentioned in the Holy Koran.

The Dawoodi Bohra Women’s Association for Religious Freedom said the study did not represent the views of most Bohra women.

The World Health Organization says FGM includes any injury to the genitalia.

“One mother told how she feared her daughter would bleed to death after she was cut. A third of women believed the procedure had damaged their sex lives. Others spoke of emotional trauma. Traditional women who practice the act told researchers, as reported by the VOA, how they have cut thousands of girls.

“The study has not just proven FGM does exist in India, but also shows how harmful it is. The procedure, which entails cutting the clitoral hood, is performed around the age of seven, must end because it is not healthy for women, physically, emotionally, and sexually,” according to the report.

India’s Supreme Court is considering a petition to ban the FGM, but campaigners were reportedly shocked in December when the women’s ministry told the court there was no official data or study supporting its existence.

Meanwhile, women groups in the country said it is disappointing that some women and girls are still being subjected to the ‘inhumane and gruesome treatment’ in the name of tradition or culture.

In Liberia, WOSI’s executive director, Mariam G. Deah, observes that such an act on the part of the legislature violates international instruments to which Liberia is a signatory that promote and protect women and girls’ rights, including ECOWAS, the AU Protocol, and the UN Chapter on Human Rights, and prohibit torture, discrimination, and all forms of violence against women and girls.

A local non-governmental organization, the Girls Alliance for Future Leadership, which focuses on the protection and advancement of teenage girls, said there is an urgent need for the Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary branches of government to abolish the age-old practice of FGM.

Recently, the head of the steering committee of NAWOGA-FGM, Maim D. Robinson, said Liberia needs to respect the provisions of the international treaties and conventions to which it is a signatory by putting a ban on harmful traditional practices that affect women and girls.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Female circumcision helps to control and dominate women….

    Female circumcision is not right. In fact, there is no scientific study that proves that it is helpful to men or to women themselves. None whatsoever.
    Female circumcision has never been done in some parts of Liberia, particularly in Maryland, Sinoe, Gee and Key Coast counties. I can definitely speak for Maryland and Sinoe, because the Kru and Grebo people are brothers and sisters.

    A few years ago, I asked a gentleman who was born in a county where female circumcision is constantly done to tell me what the benefits of such a practice are. He replied by saying that it “helps” to control a woman’s sex drive.

    Helps to control a woman’s sex drive?

    First of all, I was intimate with a woman who is a derivative of a county where such a practice is done. No. No. No. (All guys, don’t laugh). My beautiful lady’s sex drive was not “under any control”. Either she didn’t go through such a procedure or she needed to go back to be re- circumcised in order for her sex drive to be controlled.

    Given my experience, it is a false narrative! A ceremonial female circumcision does not control a female sex drive. I am not a feminist. I disagree with “some” things that women do, but I wholeheartedly support feminist organizations that call for the abolition of female circumcision. As a bonafide Marylander, I cannot imagine my sister going through that procedure. Although I wasn’t born in any of the counties of Liberia where female circumcision is practiced, I empathize and sympathize with them. The practice of cicumcising women in my humble opinion, is an act of control. It shows the dominance of men. I sincerely hope it stops soon!

    • F. Hney; in some cases with FGM, the clitoris may regenerate-depending on the age FGM was done. Good! For such ladies. I can tell you from experience, SEXUAL INTERCOURSE is very painful from beginning to end; for some FGM personalities. When it comes to sexual positions, most are very limited; to DOGGIE and MISSIONARY styles. Most of them can not do Men’s Favorite ie KAR LO PAYE. *Check it out for yourself. With the CLITORIS missing, some have never experienced an ORGASM. You know what I mean… The worst part with some FGM personalities, is that they may get FRIGID in the middle of sexual intercourse. For men, that’s a NO! NO!! Men Will quicker DUMP a FGM female for a none FGM female. This includes men who belong to that so called culture-FGM or better say, BUTCHERING of the VAGINA.

  2. Dear ALL
    Let these people leave us with our traditional life; as it is called FGM is our way of life, why complained about our cultural practices? Why don’t you complain about same-sex marriage? if they can accept it in their countries, that is fine; Why don’t they abolish that ,instead of they telling us to abolish our culture because they do not liked it? It is their business.
    Those surrogate advocates, only need money from their donors and not to protect our way of life.
    shut up! Leave us alone.
    Thanks

    • GJF; Let the WOMEN speak for themselves. They are already doing so. I know ladies who have gone through with the procedure. They have vow never to put their OWN daughter(s) through that gruesome procedure-FGM. It’s HARMFUL. You are a man. You will never feel the ordeal of FGM ladies… Just imagine, what it would be like; if men could have their PENISES chopped off right in the middle. For Heaven’s sake, FGM must be abolished in Liberia or for that matter, WORLD WIDE.

    • Gbada J.Flomo: Perhaps the difference is that things such as same-sex relationships involve CONSENTING ADULTS…. all of which is very definitely not in the same camp as mutilating a little girls (or boys) genitalia.
      If an adult woman (or a man) wish to cut bits off their genitalia then they should be allowed to do so, but ONLY ONCE THEY HAVE ACHIEVED ADULTHOOD and also assuming that they do so without coercion.
      Until such time, people should leave little girls & little boys genitalia alone and just as nature intend.

  3. Comrade Flomo,
    I know that female circumcision is cultural.

    But I have an important question for you…
    What is the benefit of female circumcision to you as a man and to the female?

    Do you prefer to date women who have gone through that procedure?

    Secondly, will you reject or refuse to date a beautiful woman who did not go through that procedure? Flomo, tell the truth!

    Same-sex marriages…..
    My take on man to man sex, lesbianism, transgender activity, ladyboy sex, bisexual activity or same-sex marriages is this…such a lifestyle is abnormal. The Bible condemns such practices as abomination. Flomo, one of these days, Jesus will return. People who evade the word of God for their own selfish interest are forever sinning. They will get their reward.

    Flomo, I am not an apologist for any feminist organization neither do I need soft money to do the bidding for anyone. I call things as I see them. So don’t go there.

    I am unprepared to label female circumcision as a sin. I haven’t come across it in the Bible. What I can say about such a practice is that female circumcision does not do the job it is meant to do. In societies where such a practice is done, men are more dominant.
    Hence in my view, men enforce such a practice because it shows a man’s machismo, his influence, his domination and bluster.
    Have a good day and try to change for the best.

    • One’s not exactly on intellectual high ground if one’s quoting from a book that something is ‘not natural’ when that same book contains references to a talking snake (Genesis 3) and / or a talking donkey (Numbers 22).

  4. I am a Liberian man who had a relationship 16yrs ago with a Liberian girl age 20yrs at the time. She underwent FGM at age 13yrs and told me how bad it was for her during and after the FGM process. I loved her but she died 2003 due to the last war in Monrovia. Since then, I have researched and been secretly advocating against FGM in parts of Liberia, I was attacked due to one of my advocacy and now living with the marks for it. But thank God I am stay alive with and have voice to join others today to speak out for my girls. I am now married with 2 daughters under 12yrs asking all Liberian Men, fathers, head of the homes, brothers and men around the world to help join the advocacy against FGM Practice once and for all.

    Liberian Lawmakers, please help pass a law to completely stop FGM.

    I say to my Liberian people: “PLEASE STOP FGM COMPLETELY” because of my daughters and all other innocent Liberian girls who need not to be cut, torture or traumatize in the name of our tradition.

    In Liberia, FGM act and same sex marriage are both ungodly, unacceptable by law, and affect the victims mostly the underage girls physically and mentally.
    Have in mind that Same Sex Marriage around the world is not by force; it is an option or choice, and done between adults and not kids (below 18yrs).
    FGM in our villages and towns is often done by force or done through parents agreement mostly on kids as a tradition even sometimes without the concern of parents who are prevented from entering the traditional bush to help stop it been done on their kid(s) if the kid is not a part of the society, seen and caught around the Society bush for trespassing unknowingly.

    Today, beside the women and all the other advocacy groups in Liberia and around the world, I am asking all other Liberian fathers, brothers, home heads and decision makers, despite our religion, tribes, or county of origin, MEN if we stand up now to STOP FGM, it will stop and my girls, your girls, mothers, and sisters will live without the fear of been cut or traumatize from the process.

    This is not about the white men Ideas but about our females.

    PLEASE HELP STOP FGM IN LIBERIA ……. yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my People ……..

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