By XINHUAPosted Thursday, April 28 2011 at 17:52
Officials from eight West African countries are meeting in Guinea to boost fight against female genital mutilation in the region.
Participants also include religious leaders from Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Liberia and Guinea.
Burkina Faso First Lady Chantal Compaore co-chaired the opening ceremony on Wednesday alongside her Guinean counterpart Jeneh Conde.
Addressing participants, Mrs Compaore described female circumcision as an unlawful act, urging people to discourage it.
She explained the side effects of the practice on women, such as acute stomach ache during menstruation, acute pains during delivery and poor chastity.
Mrs Conde told participants that the Guinea Government was about to take measures to stop the practice.
This is the first such sub-regional meeting to take place in Guinea.
International and local NGOs in Guinea have in the past organised campaigns and disbursed money to women's organisations to stop the practice.