Local NGO, Commit and Act Foundation-Sierra Leone (CAF-SL) has launched a new project to combat female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).

The project termed “My Body My Right” gathered some state actors and non-state actors with the aim of reducing the practice in 69 selected communities in Bo, Tonkolili and Bombali Districts.

The project targeted 800 girls, 800 couples, 90 teachers and 60 soweis to benefit from FGM/C prevention.

The Ministry Gender and Children’s Affairs, Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), Family Support Unit (FSU) and Judiciary of Sierra Leone were also at the prevention programme.

Speaking at the ceremony, Vice Board Chair and Technical Support Person for CAF-SL gave detailed explanation about the project.

Fanta Daboh representative from German Doctors spoke about their commitment to the project and explained how agriculture could also be used to assist.

The Deputy Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education commended CAF-SL and affirmed her ministry’s commitment to follow the recommendations of the project.

FGM/C is still a prevalent practice in regions outside the capital Freetown despite efforts to discourage the practice.

Every year scores of women and girls are initiated into the secret society as a rite of passage to ‘true womanhood’.

NGOs like the Amazonian Initiative Movement-Sierra Leone (AIM-SL) has introduced the bloodless initiation as an alternative to FGM/C.

Although it attracted many soweis and initiates earlier in July 2023, experts believe the new process could face stiff opposition in other parts of the country.