September 23, 2016 By Victoria Saffa
Executive Director of the US-based All Women are Free to Choose Inc. (AWAFC), Dr. Fuambai Sia Ahmadu has stated that they fully support the current government’s effort of promoting adult initiation into the ‘Bondo’ secret society, thus criticising anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) campaigners.
She made the above statement yesterday at the National Electoral Watch (NEW) conference room on Sawi Drive, Kingharman Road, in Freetown, during the launch of the ‘imitated not mutilated’ campaign.
“Our ‘imitated not mutilated’ campaign celebrates the aesthetic benefits of Sierra Leone’s female circumcision procedures. Our traditional female genital aesthetic operations are being imitated and marketed by Western Doctors and hailed by their predominantly white female patients of all ages who undergo labiaplasty, clitoroplexy and other identical form of so-called female genitalia cosmetic surgeries,” she said.
Dr. Ahmadu said their key focus was to raise awareness among grassroots Sierra Leonean women and adolescent girls of their constitutional rights in the face of highly organised and aggressive anti-female genital mutilation campaigns.
She noted that they would also raise awareness among circumcised women and adolescent girls of the hypocrisy of the campaigners’ efforts to deny them of their universal human rights to equality, dignity and self-determination with respect to their ancestral traditions.
She continued that SLWAFC fully supports the current government efforts to promote adult initiation into the ‘Bondo’ [female] secret society and its recognition of the right of adult women to choose what to do with their own bodies.
The debate as to whether the practice of female circumcision should be proscribed often generates heated comments among those who embrace the practice and campaigners who loath it.
Being a political hot potato, successive governments, including the current one, have been reluctant to proffer an opinion, although there is policy against cutting minors.
Just this week, an incident in the eastern city of Kenema, where a 28-year-old lady was allegedly kidnapped and forcefully initiated into the Bondo society against her wish, has got people talking as to the merit and demerit of the practice.