The Liberia Girls Guides Association (LGGA) has begun training community workers, social workers and teachers aim at joining the campaign to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other harmful traditional practices that affect women and girls in the country.
Speaking at the start of a training, the National Coordinator of the (LGGA), Debitia E. Farley said the training will help trainees to raise awareness in schools and in their various communities to end FGM and other harmful traditional practices that have serious medical implications on women and girls.
UNICEF has reported that over 200 million girls have been affected by these harmful traditional practices, especially the Female Genital Mutilation or cutting.
“This is something that we want to try to join our voices together and be able to stop these practices, especially so with the forceful initiation that they do by taking the girls out of schools and they don’t go there willingly. The LGGA says no, that shouldn’t be happening and that’s the purpose of the first phase of this workshop,” she said.
For his part, the Coordinator for ‘He For She’ Tamba F. Johnson said he is glad that the practice of FGM is being exposed in every sector of the Liberian society, especially where students have been taught about their culture on the good and negative parts of it that they can make an informed decision when it comes to the practices of culture in Liberia.
“I am glad because of the eagerness of the students to learn about FGM and realizing that the practice is negative, their willingness to go out and inform their friends that the practice should be eradicated is one of the things that really made me good,” Johnny said.
Johnny boasted that their advocacy in the country has led to the creation of the ‘Domestic Violence Act in Liberia and now an exclusive FGM Bill is now be crafted by the National Working Group Against FGM which will soon be presented to the 54th National Legislature for enactment.
“Our advocacy has led to the open discussion of FGM in every part of the world, especially Liberia that now you can see traditional leaders and non-traditional leaders sitting and discussing FGM resulting from our advocacy over the years,” he added.
“They have gotten to know the impact of FGM when it comes to the medical implication and it has also led to them understanding that some of the problems they have been encountering are from FGM and weren’t caused by witchcraft,” he indicated.
The training is being funded by the Norwegian Guide Scouts Association. The Liberia Girls Guide Association (LGGA) is a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities and education for Girls and young women to become responsible, caring and valued citizens of Liberia and the world.
The LGGA was established by an Act of the Legislature in 1926 under the leadership of the late C. Adeline King, wife of the late President Charles D. B. King. The association helped to build a strong foundation for girls and young women throughout Liberia. The activities of the Girls Guides are valued and take action to change the world.