By: Laymah Kollie
Monrovia -December 7,2023- WTVNEWS: Chief Zoes and local traditional women of Liberia on Thursday in a dialogue hosted by Helping Our People Excel (HOPE) in collaboration with Crusaders for Peace stressed the significance of maintaining the Sande and Poro societies without the FGM component. According to the women, there are other best practices within the Liberian culture that need to be taught to the younger generation.
The dialogue hosted by Hope Inc. is part of its Alternative livelihood programs supported by European Union and United Nations Spotlight Initiatives.
At the start of the event, madam Alfreda Nmah, Executive Director for HOPE, stated that the occasion was meant to gathered the views of women Zoes on other things they would like to include in the traditional practices with the exception of FGM.
According to madam Nmah the banning of FGM from the Liberian culture is not intended to kill the beauty of its tradition but allow suitable practices. She stressed that by the traditional women cataloguing other best practices in the program will give donors and partners the chance to know what they need.
“We are been working with female traditional practitioners as a means of providing them alternative livelihood as to discontinue the practice of FGM. It’s about what can we do as practitioners without the FGM component. What can you recommend that will guide us. We want you to tell us the best practices you can do without FGM”
During the dialogue, the women highlighted the maintenance of heritage centers in the fifteen counties of Liberia, the building of adult literacy school for Zoes , alternative livelihood programs such as: soap making, art and craft, agricultural initiatives amongst others as things they would like to have while putting stop to the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
They also mentioned that awareness on FGM should be done by survivors of FGM if the fight must be successful. The women also put forth the building of guest houses at heritage centers, mobility, village saving loan, and the practice of traditional dance and songs amongst others.
“As we leave the practice of FGM, we want to maintain heritage center in the counties, empower women through education, soap making, art and craft, products such agriculture palm farm, respect elders , promote traditional herbs.
Traditional cases should be managed by traditional leaders instead of court. Create awareness on women right in villages and Towns, we want go to international meetings, people who are members of FGM should be the ones to give awareness on FGM. We want to continue traditional dance and songs, we want mobility, guest house in heritage centers, and Village saving load”
Meanwhile, Chief Zanzan Karwah, Head of the National Traditional Council in Liberia encouraged the women to give their platform. The Chief Zoe urged women to spotlight the best practices in the traditional that they would like to continue.
“I Chief Zanzan Karwah the head of the traditional people will end it. We all got to decide if that one role we all will carry let’s decide. We want to keep our culture but what is that best thing in the culture that we want to keep? The ban on traditional practices will soon be lifted”
The occasion brought together traditional women heads from the eleven FGM counties to include: Bong, Lofa, Bomi, Nimba, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Margibi amongst others.