Liberia imposes a one year ban on female genital mutilation

A man in Kenya shows the logo of a T-shirt that reads “Stop the Cut” referring to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).. (photo credit:/REUTERS)

Liberia has imposed a one-year ban on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) with campaigners calling on the country’s new President George Weah to push for a permanent law.

Before leaving office, former leader Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf signed an executive order which makes it an offence to perform FGM on anyone below 18 but can be performed on adults with their consent.

Campaigners said FGM should be banned outright as even women who gave consent often did so under pressure.

“It is too early to celebrate as there is still a long way to go before there is zero tolerance to FGM in Liberia,” said Grace Uwizeye, a consultant with international rights group Equality Now, Thomson Reuters Foundation said.

Campaigners have fought for FGM to be outlawed in the country where around half of women have undergone the procedure.

FGM is a practice that involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia.

The practice was last year removed from domestic violence bill saying that it was a cultural matter.

Campaigners have received death threats for speaking out about the practice which remains shrouded in taboo and is often performed during initiation ceremonies in bush schools with girls sworn to secrecy on their lives, the report said.

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