The head of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders, Chief Zarzan Kawor says the move by the Government of Liberia to constitute a taskforce to abolish female genital mutilation that comprises of entirely non-sande traditional school members will not succeed because they would be barred from entering the place the real action is needed. Chief Kawor is there calling on the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection’s Anti-Sexual and Gender Based Violence Taskforce to include traditional people on the taskforce in leadership role to take on the function.
According to him, this would encourage full cooperation between the Government and traditional leaders across Liberia.
He stressed that in order to achievement full-scale abolition of the traditional practice, there is a need to open vocational training facilities to keep the traditional people busy so that they would forget about the practice and do something meaningful with their lives.
“If you are unable to go into the zoe bush, how can you monitor the taskforce to know what is happening there? “the head of the Liberia Traditional Council asked.
Chief Kawor spoke on Monday, February 21, 2022 in Monrovia at programs marking the official launch of the Anti-SGBV National Call Center and the announcement of a three-year moratorium of Female Genital Mutilation. The Taskforce also received 18 Motorbikes and four vehicles to facilitate their work.
Chief Kawor said traditional activities are undemocratic process as only those who are deeply part of them can monitor.
“We want to set a task force with the person who is inside! inside!!, if you say nothing here the person will go and prove”, he emphasized.
He warns that, Queen’s task force is not needed in the process because they will not get where they should get to for their operations. “If any non-traditional member is arrested or operation hinder by traditional people, don’t blame me as I will not be held responsible” he warned.
He suggested that the logistics and the responsibility should be turned over to the traditional leaders to provide adequate and effective results.
During his presentation of the moratorium to the Minister of Gender Children and Social Protection, Williametta E. Saydee-Tarr to temporarily suspend FGM practice for three years, the Chief Zoe of Liberia encouraged the body to report to him any violator for investigation as traditional cases are not justice related cases.
Serving as chief launcher of the SGBV, the Vice President of Liberia Madam Jewel Howard Taylor calls on the government to build more traditional schools across the country and provide traditional education among citizens unless the FGM in other to keep the culture alive.
According to her, the Nation should hail the traditional foods by putting the zoes and the Teachers in position so that young Children can go to Learn what they should be learning.
VP Taylor says, as a traditional child, she is hoping that her children will go and learn about the Kpelleh and the Lofa traditions.
She maintains that so many things are missing in the lives of their children and wants them to go and fully learn about the tradition to have them completed.
“If our Culture must be built and transformed from one generation to another, the truth of the matter is traditional schools are strategic and I pray it will be part of our agenda”, Vice President Howard Taylor asserted.
In a special remark, the Swedish Ambassador to Liberia Amb. Urban Sjöström noted that, FGM has no health benefit into humans’ lives.
Written By: Joseph Tumbey; firstname.lastname@example.org(+231)777941209