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SIERRA LEONE: Women Plan Protest For Bondo

Groups of female organizations including elderly women in Kenema are planning to protest against what they described as the continuous demoralization of traditional and cultural practices such as Bondo.

Coordinator of the Women's Coalition in Kenema, Doris Kali disclosed to Concord Times that they have developed serious interest in the various discussion programmes on radio stations across the country condemning Bondo initiation and its connection with female genital mutilation (FGM).

"We are going to demonstrate for the government and the international community to know that we are against their denouncement of FGM and that we will continue with the practice because we inherited it," she said.

Kali opines that the denouncement of Bondo is an abuse on traditional leaders and their women because a large number of them, especially those in the provinces, are members of the society.

"The denouncement of Bondo in Sierra Leone is an abuse to us as Sierra Leoneans.

The international community is advocating for us to move away from our traditional and cultural practices but it is categorically clear that children below the age of eighteen are not initiated into the society without their consent so how can an ordinary organization be so bold to take us from our normal practices?" She questioned and stressed that those advocating for the abolition of the practice might have collected huge amount of money from foreign countries to propagate against it and thus abuse people openly but they failed to realize that the westerners have their own culture and ways of life.

Kali also disclosed that they have met with the head of Bondo women in Kenema district, Haja Massah Kaisamba, to chart the way forward with regards the current incident. She added that they will take the appropriate steps to ensure that they observe the rules and regulations as custom demands.

SOURCE: allAfrica.com

AUTHOR: Mohamed Massaquoi

URL: Click here

DATE: 04/03/2008

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