The Thomson Reuters Foundation reported that Sierra Leone has decided to back an international treaty on the rights of women in Africa which looks likely to lead to a new law banning female genital mutilation (FGM), rights campaigners said on Tuesday, July 7 2015. FGM is widely practiced throughput the country.
Sierra Leone was one of the last West African countries to ratify the Maputo Protocol, which focuses on a range of issues including FGM, violence against women, child marriage and and women’s economic empowerment. The treaty has already been ratified by 37 other African states.
The rights group Eqaulity Now, hopes that the treaty should compel Sierra Leone to introduce a law banning FGM to be implemented nationwide, wrote the Reuters Foundation.
“This (ratification) is important because it demonstrates a political commitment to protect the rights of girls and women in Sierra Leone, and provides a legal framework for them to access justice,” Equality Now program officer, Kavinya Makau, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“It is a critical first step towards making FGM illegal.”