Sierra Leone backs women’s rights treaty, but faces uphill road to eradicating female genital mutilation
- The country has become the latest to ratify the Maputo Protocol, which establishes political commitment to women’s rights issues such as violence against women, child and forced marriage, and female genital mutilation (FGM).
- Rights organizations expect Sierra Leone’s ratification to bind it to criminalizing FGM.
- With nine in ten girls cut across the country, the practice has continued through the support of traditionalist groups, though the government began levying fines against practitioners as its Ebola crisis spread.
“The FGM crackdown needs to reach out to people on the ground and women in villages across the country, and a government-led outreach program may be required. Sierra Leone must take a blanket approach to include politicians, health workers and communities, and even consider how to involve the cutters in the discussions to eliminate the practice.”
Read the full story by the Thomson Reuters Foundation at Reuters.