In Article, Video, The Guardian Examines Persistence Of FGM In Sierra Leone
The Guardian: Sierra Leone’s secret FGM societies spread silent fear and sleepless nights
“…In an unprecedented step, soweis, the women who hold the most senior rank in the societies, agreed to speak to The Guardian. The soweis are unhappy with attempts to force them to abandon the practice, seeing it as an attack on their culture, which is rooted in ancient rituals designed to protect the community against evil spirits and regulate the passage of adolescents to womanhood. … Abolishing the societies and ending FGM — known as Bondo — is taboo for the political elite…” (O’Carroll, 8/24).
The Guardian: Living in fear of FGM in Sierra Leone: ‘I’m not safe in this community’ — video
“Girls in Sierra Leone are under huge pressure to be initiated into all-female secret societies that practice female genital mutilation. Mariatu* describes her struggle to escape FGM while Plan International worker Aminata Sheriff, who helps young girls like Mariatu, recalls the horror of being cut at the age of 16. Two soweis, the highest ranking figures in the secret societies, speak about the cultural traditions and financial pressures that perpetuate FGM…” (Duff et al., 8/24).