- There is no law in Sierra Leone that bans FGM because it is neither considered a taboo nor a form of gender-based violence. No law does not specifically address harmful practices against girls and violence against women.
- International Development Agencies and NGOs like the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) in Sierra Leone shy away from FGM. UNFPA’s 2018 report on reproductive health and harmful traditional practice makes no mention of FGM by name.
- Only 10.4% of women in Sierra Leone are uncircumcised. The estimated prevalence of FGM in girls and women (15-49 years) is 89.6% (DHS, 2013).
- Not all women who are circumcised say that they are victims of FGM. First Lady of Sierra Leone has said this is an important part of the discourse in an interview in 2018 “I am a circumcised woman. I have had three successful deliveries without complications,” she said and added that she had not faced any complication due to FGM.
- In Sierra Leone, FGM is political. Lawmakers, women’s leaders, and political leaders are more committed to the protection of the sowes (traditional clitoris cutters) than to protect children.
February 6 is UN International Day of Zero Tolerance Against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). FGM is the cutting of half or all of the clitoris. To find out more about FGM in Sierra Leone check out Vickie Remoe’s Blog.