Liberia: Political pressure silences act against FGM!

The following was taken from this week’s Waris Dirie Posts

(Liberia is one out of three countries in West Africa yet to ban FGM)

Liberia is one out of three countries in West Africa yet to ban FGM. Half of Liberian women and girls are estimated to have undergone the cruel procedure.

Things appeared to be changing last year when in response to many years of international and domestic pressure, a domestic violence bill was finally introduced to ban FGM in Liberia.

The law listed FGM as a criminal offence, but things changed, when several politicians were opposed to the new bill. The FGM revision was then removed from the bill!

Liberia’s first female head of state and Nobel Prize winner, President Johnson-Sirleaf, says “too many of our countries have yet to muster the courage to ban the irreparable harm inflicted by genital mutilation on young girls in traditional societies”.

Referring to Johnson-Sirleaf’s statement, which was repeatedly promised, it leaves us wondering why we are still waiting for the bill to be passed.

Observing Liberia’s political scene, it shows that a FGM bill would lead to losing support from the more traditional communities for next year’s election.

You would expect a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, who fought for the safety of women and for women’s rights, to overcome political pressure in order to save the lives of many young girls and women.

There have been too many promises and not enough action regarding female genital mutilation! It takes real measures to protect Liberia’s women from lifelong pain!