“We want a women’s secret society without blood or cutting” Rugiatu Neneh
By Alpha Kamara-US
Sierra Leone’s Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Abass Bundu has received a petition from Anti-FGM campaigners to find ways to outlaw the FGM practice in the country. The campaigners led by Rugiatu Nenneh Koroma presented the petition to the speaker for onward transmission to the president, parliament and other political leaders.
The move come weeks after the death of a teenager in the South as a result of a secret FGM practice. One hundred and thirty women’s rights groups around the world have also added their voices in calling on the Sierra Leone government to criminalize and outlaw FGM in the country.
Dr. Abass Bundu said he had consented to the task of presenting the petition to the president and parliament on behalf of the Anti-FGM Campaigners. He said he was not against the practice of ‘Bondo’, but shared their concern that FGM be outlawed in the country. He also acknowledged that outlawing FGM might sound unpleasant to a certain section of society for traditional reasons.
“I know it’s hard to change tradition, but as a great believer in change, good traditions needed to be preserved while discarding bad ones. This is an incident of evolution in every society,” he said.
He further stated that no society could afford to remain backward and primitive forever, and that it was natural for countries to go through an evolutionary process and Sierra Leone was no exception. “The time has come for our country to evaluate its cultural practices and decide as a people what is good to be preserved and what is not good to be discarded,” Dr. Bundu said.
On her Facebook page, Rugiatu Neneh Koroma re-emphasized her commitment to fight to end bloody FGM in Sierra Leone and also shared a song she has produced with some local artists to find an alternative method to enjoying cultural practices and girls rights. “Cutting someone’s body is not culture. We are promoting a women’s secret society without blood or cutting”, she added.