Time to ban FGM in Sierra Leone

17 February 2009 at 23:32 | 1111 views

By Donald Georgestone, California,USA.

There was an article in one of the Sierra Leonean On- Line newspaper titled " Bondo Debates Heats Up ".It was an interesting article , and it was written by Yankuba Kai - Samba from London , England . At the end of the article , the writer pointed out , that under aged girls should not be forced to undergo Female Genital Circumcision (FGC ) in the Bondo society and that it should be a matter of choice .That I applauded , but when the writer rejected the call for the government to ban Bondo Society and its FGC practices , that I rejected .

Government has as one of its responsibilities , to insure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare of its citizens . The main objective of the Bondo Society , is to make sure that every member go through the Female Genital Mutilation procedure which does not serve any purpose , nor does it benefit the woman or the country in any way . Some countries in Africa, such as Egypt , Kenya and Senegal have increased their efforts to ban FGC.

I love my country so much , that I am deeply concerned about the incident that happened in Kenema couple of days ago . What is wrong with Sierra Leone ? It
seems as if every year , we take one step forward and three steps backwards . Although Manja Balama - Samba of the United Nations Radio was not striped naked by certain Bondo women as reported , but we seems to have lost our grip on civilization.
It seems as if " Freedom of Speech " and the " Rule of Law "does not mean anything in Sierra Leone anymore . The Bondo women has no right to forced Manja , or any of the Journalists into the bush . They do not have the right to take the law into their own hands . That is why we have the local Administrative court , which is part of our judicial system. With the exception of a few idiots , the people of Kenema are hardworking and peace loving people , who want prosperity and better living standards for all in Kenema and its surroundings . As a result , I urged the authorities to launch a thorough investigation into the incident and those found guilty should be punished . It will also be a good thing , for President Koroma to put out a statement saying that ,” such type of behavior would not be tolerated under his watch.”

I know this is a controversial subject , but we cannot just put it under the rug , and pretend the problem does not exit . We have to talk about it . We might agree or disagree . Some people might say , it is an old tradition , so it should be kept . That does not make sense to me , may be it was significant in the old days , but today , because of medical advancement that tradition is a health hazard .

Let us take a look at some of the problems or implications cause by Female Genital Circumcision (FGC ). We all know that it is the complete excision of the clitoris . First of all FGC does not serve any purpose and it is not required by any religion . FGC. can cause infection , fever and hemorrhage. Because of the raw wounds , there is usually pain and burning as urine passes through . Injury to the urethra may also occur .
As age progresses , some women who had gone through the FGC. procedure , finds it difficult to empty their bladder easily , except they use strong muscles contractions to discharge the urine . This takes a longer time than normal.

I interviewed couple of women , from different parts of Africa , on this issue ( FGC ) for my book . All of the women told me about the long term complications they are now experiencing , such as : lack of enjoyment of sex , the inability to achieve orgasm and so on . So for all those who are concern with this topic , which is a hot topic in Sierra Leone today , I think you should read my book . The title is " Focus On Sierra Leone "

It can be ordered on- Line from the listed phone number or any of the website addresses :
phone 1-888-795-4274 ex 7876 , ex7479
Email: Orders@Xlibris.com
The book will also be available at your local bookstore by April 30 , 2009.

I get upset when I see politicians in high office use their political influence and high office to promote or maintain an agenda just for their own political gains , even though they know it is not in the best interest of those they pretend to be fighting for.

This type of behavior is mostly found in African countries , where more than eighty percent of the population are illiterate . Here is a case in point : In 1996 during the reign of Ahmed Tejan Kabbah , a small group of rights activities began a campaign against FGC . It became a subject of discussions on radio , at seminars and on every street corner . The campaign against FGC was actually gaining wide support . Even the reputable Gynecologists in the country supported the campaign , because our beautiful young underage girls were being destroyed . After couple of days , the then Minister of Foreign Affairs , Shirely Gbujama led a demonstration of Bondo women and their sympathizers in the capital city . They presented a petition to the President and urged the President to support the Bondo women .

Prior to 1996 , I used to be an admirer of Shirely Gbujama , because she is a brilliant woman ., but after the demonstration , I considered her to be a selfish and crafty politician . . She knew all the complications involve in Female Genital Circumcision , yet she gave her support to the Bondo women , just to win them over , and get that block of votes in that general elections .
Sierra Leone can only go forward , when we as a people , decide to change our attitude and put our country first .