An expert and staunch advocate against female genital mutilation (FGM) condemns the continuous death threats and witch-hunt directed at prominent members of advocacy groups in Liberia. Speaking via telephone during a media show in Liberia on last Wednesday, Mrs. Miatta Barnes a woman’s rights advocate and former President of the Women United Against Female Genital Mutilation (WUAFGM) called on the government of Liberia to be more aggressive in their defense and protection of women’s rights and civil rights in general.
Mrs. Barnes said it is a shame that the Liberian Government has done very little to protect women’s rights in spite of the country electing the first female president of the country and the African continent.
Mrs. Barnes who is a current student of Psychology at the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) in Pennsylvania, said she is aware of the trauma victims of FGM practices are faced with because, she was also a victim of that “evil ordeal”.
The former WUAFGM’s President commended civil society groups for their indescribable effort in the fight against societal odds and emphasized that she is well aware that sometimes advocacy in Liberia will mean “putting your life down, standing in the midst of threats, being outcast” but at the end of the day the fundamental rights of Liberians MUST be protected.
The veteran advocate went on to acclaim some other like-advocates for their continuous fight for the rights of the Liberian people, including the abolition of Female Genital Mutilation and the protection of gay rights. Mrs. Barnes also commended reverent Liberian female journalist, Mae Azongo for her heroic stance on FGM for which she was remanded into self-incarceration and hiding for fear she might be chased out of Liberia.
Story reported by:
Jacob J. Barnes