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U.S. Praises Gov’t’s Fight Against FGM Practice

By Bill W. Cooper
The United States Ambassador, Michael A. McCarthy has extolled the Liberian Government for progress made in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the country.
Ambassador McCarthy also stressed the need for the National Legislature to ensure the passage of the proposed anti-FGM legislation intended to completely eradicate the process in the country.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) refers to “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or another injury to the body.”
But in Liberia, the prevalence of FGM is 31.8 percent which calls for serious action, according to the World Bank’s 2022 statistics.
Addressing a team of reporters at his U.S. Embassy in Monrovia on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, McCarthy stated that the government has gone beyond lip service in fighting FGM in the country but more needs to be done.
“I want to congratulate the Weah administration, the traditional leaders, the religious leaders, the women’s support group, UN women, and UNDP for going far beyond lip service, to take coordinated action to preserve the Sande while fighting the scourge of FGM,” the U.S. Diplomat maintained.
Ambassador McCarthy who further stated that he was out of the country during the observance of the International Women’s Day stressed that the UN through its Women’s Goodwill Ambassador ending FGM and Child Marriage believes that the practice of FGM in Liberia may be eliminated, but underscored the need for more political will.
“I implore the legislature to add to the incredible momentum by passing the proposed anti-FGM legislation immediately. Is it not fitting that as the oldest Republic in Africa, Liberia should abolish this terrible practice that is so harmful to half the population,” he asked rhetorically.
It can be recalled that Deputy Speaker House Speaker, Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa submitted a bill entitled, “An Act Prohibiting Female Genital Mutilation of 2022?, which was voted upon and forwarded to the Committees on Internal Affairs Judiciary, and Gender Equity, Child Development, and Social Services.
Also, during the observance of the International Day of Zero tolerance for FGM, the Chairperson of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia (NACCEL), Chief Zanzan Karwor banned the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Liberia.
In his declaration, he called on chiefs and elders to share the message around the country, a move that was greatly welcomed by the international community.

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