Family flees for fear of Genital mutilation

A lady, Mrs. Doreen Wreh Toweh and her two kids,   Alphonso Toweh, Jr. and Alreen Toweh,   had to flee from  her husband’s  home town’ Tappita town  in Liberia  with her two kids for fear of being  circumcised against the will of her daughter.

Nimba is one of the few counties that female genital circumcision is rife. The Liberian government has over the time come against this practice   and warned people to desist from it. But many people ignore this and continue to carry on such practice.

This practice has led to many deaths in the country.  For instance, in Tappita, a girl who was forced into the practice died and the escaped. The whereabouts of the person remains unknown.

The lady, Mrs. Toweh,  left in late 2014 during the Ebola crisis. It all started when they went for the funeral of her mother in law in May 2013.  Her husband’s mother, Ma Vonyee David died in 2013 and they decided to have the feast in 2014.

As tradition demands in Mr.  Toweh’s home town, at such festival, he   has to take his family there.  So, his wife took the kids for the feast. Her daughter, Alreen, who was named after her grandmother, went along.

The late Vonyee  was a Zoe(Traditional leader) who was one of those responsible for female genital mutilation. By way of traditional practice, once a lady is named after her grandmother, such child   needed to be circumcised  to fulfill her wish.

After the feast, the women, chiefs and elders held meeting with Mrs. Toweh that her in law left a mandate that Alreen took over her place and she be indoctrinated and at such, go through the rituals for mutilation.

Sensing that the traditional people were out to arrest the girl and her mother, she had to flee at mid night to get back to the main city and subsequently left for the city.

The escape did not go down well with the women from the town. As a result of that, they have decided to place a huge fine on the husband: that he brings two living cow, six sheep, four goats, one duck, five chicken. That he pays those items or brings back Alreen to undergo such practice.

The husband decided to inform the traditional people that he would get back to them at a  ater date. But they have warned him that the girl would have to complete the mandate of her grandmother whenever she came back.

Due to  the persistent demands,  Mrs. Toweh and her kids had to flee to the USA.

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About Cholo Brooks 15421 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.