Religious leaders say ‘no’ to FGM/C in Guinea

At the Grand Mosque in Conakry Religious Leaders discuss ending FGM/C in Guinea. Photo Credit: © UNICEF 2016 / Mohamed Saidou Diallo

In Guinea, 96, 9 per cent of women are victims of Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) making Guinea the 2nd highest country in the world after Somalia. Furthermore, 57 per cent of men and 68 per cent of women believe that FGM/C is a religious requirement. But many Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, have not known incidences of female genital mutilation.

The Guinean Government, through the Secretariat General of Religious Affairs, in partnership with UNICEF, UNFPA and the United States Embassy launched the national campaign of religious leaders on the prevention of female genital mutilation and cutting in Guinea, at Donka Islamic Centre this week.

The launching ceremony was an opportunity for religious leaders in Guinea to commit to the ending of FGM/C, during the school holiday period when most incidents occur.

The US ambassador to Guinea Dennis Hankins Photo Credit: © UNICEF 2016 / Mohamed Saidou Diallo

For the US ambassador to Guinea Dennis Hankins: “Religious leaders have a vital role to play within your communities in the fight against FGM. It is a tradition certainly, but we can change minds”.

Sanaba Ms. Kaba, Minister of Social Action for the Women promotion and Childhood left, and Mariame Touré Specialist Communication for Development UNICEF Photo Credit: © UNICEF 2016 / Mohamed Saidou Diallo

“We are not trying to fight the religion or culture; but to protect our women from the negative consequences of this horrendous practice. We work hard with our partners to make our communities understand that FGM/C harms the health of our girls,” said Madame Sanaba Kaba, Minister of Social Action for The Promotion of Women and Childhood.

The Secretary General of Religious Affairs Elhadj Abdoul Karim Dioubaté Photo Credit: © UNICEF 2016 / Mohamed Saidou Diallo

The Secretary General of Religious Affairs Elhadj Abdoul Karim Dioubaté, who read the declaration of abandonment and simultaneously launched the campaign noted that there is a law that prohibits the practice of FGM/C. He appealed to all parents to respect this law banning excision.

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