Zero Tolerance Day – Liberia

Zero Tolerance Day for Female Genital Mutilation was on February the 6th, 2024. See how frontline organisations in Liberia observed this day with the theme “Her Voice, Her Future”.

Foundation for Community Empowerment – This is a group of journalists, activists and religious leaders working together in order to ensure the eradication of FGM. The Foundation for Community Empowerment took into consideration some key stakeholders involved in the practice including civil society organizations, government agencies, human right activists, community leaders, and the general public.

Their work on February 6th included educating high school students on the harmful implications of FGM and have them vow not to ever form part of such activity. Instead, they worked to focus their attention on their education and spreading the message amongst their pears.

Images from Zero Tolerance Day Activities in Quardu Gboni District.

The Lofa Women for Community Transformation – A non-profit group of activists engaged in advocacy for the rights of women and girls, with specific focus on female genital mutilation. This group ran a community outreach programme on February 6th. Through this project, the culture of cutting is no longer a secret in this community. They successfully discouraged many members from FGM who don’t want to be cut after being educated on the implications of the practice.

Zero Tolerance Day Activities in Voinjama

Team ‘Stop the Cutting’

This team from Vahun, Lofa County has observed that women and girls in many of the rural settlements are suffering in the name of tradition and the lack of adequate education in helping them to stand against the harmful practices associated with the female genital mutilation (FGM).

Women and girls who are not initiated go through humiliation, discrimination and forceful initiations at the hands of other women.

Team ‘Stop the Cutting’ engaged those involved in the practice coupled with health workers, religious leaders, youth focus groups, community leaders on the Liberia/Sierra Leone border and heads of civil society organizations. All were gathered in a mass meeting to discuss measures to be put in place in order to end the cutting aspect of the culture. Health care workers explained how dangerous/harmful the practice is and if it’s not stopped, it will later lead them into trouble because the government has placed a ban.

A radio campaign against FGM also ran, with an audience of 85,000 from both Liberia and Sierra Leone borders towns. Listeners benefited from the radio discussions on FGM and the playing of recorded audio which will be used to positively pass on the message.

Radio campaign reaching approximately 85,000 people who are direct listeners and
indirect listeners from other bordering towns and villages in Sierra Leone.

In Liberia, important progress has been made in eliminating FGM. A year ago, on 6 February, 2023, the National Council of chiefs and Elders in Liberia (NACCEL), made a historic proclamation to ban the practice of FGM in Liberia. Since then, the traditional ceremonies to effectively enforce the ban on FGM have been conducted in four out of the eleven practicing counties in Liberia, namely Monsterrado, Grand cape Mount, Nimba and Bong Counties.