By Precious D. Freeman
As Liberia strives to end the issue of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the country, UN Women and Partners have completed a two-day Media Training Workshop on objective Reporting on Female Genital Mutilation for media practitioners and civil society actors across the country.
The two-day intensive Training workshop brought together over 30 Media Practitioners and civil social society actors, to brainstorm on ending Female Genital Mutilation across the country.
Female Genital Mutilation is a harmful traditional practice that involves the removal of external female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
UN Women report indicates that an estimated 50 percent of women and girls, aged 15 to 40, have undergone FGM in Liberia. FGM affects the health and reproductive rights of women and girls across the world, thus preventing them from achieving their full potential and rights.
At the start of the Workshop, United Nations Women’s Country Representative, Comfort Lamptey, admonished and commended the gathering for the progress that has been made in ending FGM in the country, moreover stressing the need that more has to be done to end FGM in Liberia.
According to the Country Representative of UN Women, the work is owned and driven by Liberia and Liberians in ending FGM and other harmful traditional practices in the country.
For her part, Cultural Ambassador and Co-Chair on the Task Force on the ban of Female Genital Mutilation, Julie Endee, said that after several consultative meetings with traditional leaders and international partners, the traditional community resolved to put an end to the practice of FGM and continue with the educational aspects of the tradition.
She however attributed the delays in tackling the practice of FGM to how donors’ mandates were placed before the interest of the practitioners, which is now shifted in a different way to prioritizing the views and demands of the traditional community.
Meanwhile, at the close of the two-day intensive workshop on objective Reporting on FGM, the Country Representative of UN Women climaxed the Workshop by appealing to media practitioners and civil society actors to spread the message of the harmful traditional practices of FGM through their various media outlets, for the purpose of ending the practice in the country.
Also speaking, a representative from the Media and a television broadcaster, Edward Tamba, thanked the UN Women and Partners for the Training and called on UN Women to provide more training on FGM to widen the minds of reporters on the practice in the country.