Women Solidarity Incorporated (WOSI) has expressed with great disappointment that women and girls are still being subjected to inhumane and gruesome treatments in the name of traditional Practices or culture in Liberia.
Speaking to reporters recently, the Executive Director of WOSI, Mariam G Deah said while organizations respect culture, yet, they feel that those components of culture that dehumanized women and girls must be addressed in accordance with those international and regional instruments that Liberia is a signatory to.
According to Madam Deah, WOSI considers some portions of the traditional practices as negative especially FGM and early child marriage components.
She said Domestic Violence Act which was passed by both houses, the component on Female Genital Mutilation section 16.21 was politically manipulated and willfully deleted by members of the Senate and House of Representatives.
She noted that such action on the part of the National Legislature to delete certain component of the Bill violates all of the international instruments that Liberia is a signatory, which promote and protect women and girls rights such as the CEDAW, AU Protocol, CRC, the UN Chapter on Human Rights which prohibits tortures, discrimination, and all forms of violence against women and girls.
Furthermore, WOSI’s Executive Director stressed that action carried out by both houses contravened President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s September 27, 2015 public statement made at the Women Global Conference held at the UN General Assembly in the United States of America wherein, she said “before the end of her tenure, she shall endeavor to ensure that a domestic violence Bill is passed into law, ban Female Genital Mutilation and ensure women equal participation in politics”.
Mrs. Deah disclosed that on the contrary, women and girls are still being subjected to inhumane cultural practices in various counties in Liberia making reference to Margibi and other counties in rural Liberia.
The WOSI’s Executive Director noted that the organization current project titled (reinforcing national efforts for an anti- FGM Law in Liberia) which focuses on monitoring the incidences of FGM in Margibi County and its surroundings, information gathered from monitors in the field states that there is a massive increment of groves in center square of communities where they work.
She further disclosed that WOSI in collaboration with the National Working Group against FGM, have drafted an exclusive Bill on FGM that will be submitted to the 54th legislature.
Women solidarity Incorporated lauded equality Now with support from Human Dignity Foundation for the level of support the organization has received so far in the fight against FGM in Liberia.
Madam Deah used the occasion to call on the Ministry of Internal Affairs to ensure that all groves are monitored to ensure that people are not initiated into these inhumane practices of FGM and early child marriage.
The Women Solidarity Incorporated concluded by recognizing some efforts of the government through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in the fight for human rights.