Another girl dies from FGM in Sierra Leone

September 10, 2022 | Donor Direct Action

In February 2022 for International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM we shared with you the story of 21-year-old Maseray Sei who bled to death in a Bondo Bush in Sierra Leone after her clitoris was cut (click here for more details). Maseray’s death led to international pressure to end impunity for female genital mutilation (FGM) as well as a historical manslaughter trial, which is ongoing. Anti-FGM activist Rugiatu Touray, who first told us about the death of Maseray, now shares the tragic news that yet another young woman, 16-year old Memunatu, has died after being subjected to FGM in late August 2022.

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Girls undergo FGM as a rite of passage practiced by secret societies called the "Bondo Bush" in Sierra Leone. Currently, 86% of women and girls in Sierra Leone are subjected to FGM. Time and time again we have seen no justice for victims like Maseray and Memunatu.

Sierra Leone has no law against FGM. Maseray’s cutter only faces criminal charges because the practice resulted in Maseray’s death. While this case might offer some accountability, depending on how it goes, the fight to end this practice is far from over as long as it remains legal. With your help our frontline anti-FGM activists can continue to fight for laws to protect young women like Maseray and end this harmful traditional practice. As Maseray’s case progresses this month we will follow it closely and pursue Memunatu’s case with the hope that a new precedent will be set that will help end FGM in Sierra Leone.

Anti-FGM groups like AIM need your help to make sure that the deaths of Maseray and Memunatu are not forgotten and that justice is won for them and the countless other girls who have met similar fates. Join the movement of front-line donors. Back activists like Rugiatu. Your support will save girls' lives.


Jessica Neuwirth

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