25 Aug Not In My Name campaign calls for FGM ban in Sierra Leone
The Not In My Name coalition, formed by leading campaigners and women’s and girl’s rights organizations, launches today. The joint partnership between these organizations calls for the elimination of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) in Sierra Leone, including by introducing a ban on this human rights violation as a matter of urgency.
The recent death of a 19-year-old girl during her initiation into Bondo Society has resulted in an outpouring of opinions and emotions in support of the complete elimination of FGM. The coalition aims to capitalize and act on these needs to ensure a permanent change within Sierra Leonean communities. FGM affects 88% of women and girls in Sierra Leone and over 200 million women and girls around the world. It has no health benefits and is an extreme form of violence and discrimination.
The Not In My Name coalition will help to advocate for stronger laws and policies to protect and promote the rights of women and girls in Sierra Leone, communicate information on the harmfulness of FGM and galvanize a community of activists, policymakers and other allies to confront these issues in our society. The coalition already includes a dynamic group of grassroots Sierra Leonean organizations Amazonian Initiative Movement (AIM), Self Help And Development Everywhere ( SHADE), Girl to Girl Empowerment Movement (G2G), Girls Empowerment Summit Sierra Leone (GESSL), Praise Foundation, Women Against Violence and Exploitation in Society (WAVES), Coin a child campaign, Graceland Sierra Leone, Women Center for Good governance and development Foundation, Women Yearning for Equal Rights (WOYER), Voice for the Voiceless, Community Initiative program (CIP), Tamareneh Gender Development Association, Action for community Transformation (ACT), Advocacy Movement
Network (Amnet) and international human rights organizations Project ACEi and Equality Now.
It hopes to draw the support of many more as the campaign continues.
“FGM should not be use as a vote winner”, said Rugiatu Turay, Deputy Minister for Social Affairs, Gender and Children.
“Come out straight to speak the truth and protect your women and girls. No culture is static. It can be changed by men and women. We need strong leadership to address cultural practices that are not good for the health of women”.
“I want my daughter and all the little girls of Sierra Leone to live in a society where they can celebrate and enjoy our cultural and traditional heritage. They are the footprints that keep our history alive. When young girls are dying innocently in the name of tradition there is a problem and we have to put a stop to it. Not in my name. I say No to FGM” said Ajara Bomah, Program Manager and Mentor, Girls Empowerment Summit Sierra Leone (GESSL).