Sierra Leone's First Lady calls for end of female circumcision

Fatima Maada Bio surprises with powerful statement

First Lady Fatima Maada Bio (l.) with powerful statement.

This is a breakthrough in the fight against FGM! At the Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver (Canada) Sierra Leone's First Lady Fatima Maada Bio surprised everyone with a strong statement. For the first time she publicly demanded an end to the ceremonial circumcision of girls by the influential Bondo society (secret society of circumcisers) in her country. In her statement she stated that the tradition should be kept, but without female circumcision. The reforms are necessary to strengthen girls and women in Sierra Leone. In addition, the First Lady said that every girl has a right to education because it is a basic human right.

"I am very pleased that Sierra Leone's First Lady is now also supporting our fight against female genital mutilation," says Waris Dirie proudly and feels confirmed in her mission. "The First Lady has addressed exactly what I have been fighting for with my Desert Flower Foundation for many years. An end to this terrible crime against young children and education for girls to have a more self-determined future."

In September Waris Dirie opens the first "Desert Flower School" including "Safe House" with library in Sierra Leone. It is currently the most important project of a large-scale educational initiative of the Desert Flower Foundation. Thanks to the clear statement of First Lady Fatima Maada Bio, all this takes on a whole new dimension. "I would be delighted to welcome Your Excellency, the First Lady, to the opening of the school in September," says Waris Dirie.

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