18 communities declare end to female genital mutilation in Guinea-Bissau
Eighteen communities in the Cacheu region, northern Guinea-Bissau, have declared an end to the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and made a commitment to combat other degrading phenomena, an official source told Lusa
Aissatu Cali Baldé, communications officer of the National Committee for the Abandonment of Harmful Traditional Practices (CNAPN) for the health of women and children, said that the organisation had launched a new campaign in which several Guinean communities, especially those from the interior of Guinea Bissau, will publicly declare their commitment to abandon practices such as FGM, forced marriage, early marriage or preventing girls from attending school.
The campaign started in the Cacheu region, specifically in the village of Samodji, in the Bigene sector, gathered 10 communities to announce publicly that they will abandon FGM, will not allow early, forced, child or combined marriages and will demand the schooling of their girls.
On the same day, eight communities of the Ingoré sector gathered in the village of Sidif Balanta for the same public commitment before the president of CNAPN, Martliatu Djaló Candé, who promised “no girl is sexually mutilated or prevented from going to school.
According to the CNAPN communications officer, in the coming period, until February 2022, it is planned that several communities in the interior of Guinea-Bissau, in the south, east and centre of Guinea-Bissau, will make a public declaration to abandon FGM and other practices harmful to the health of girls.
The public declaration is a commitment that women leaders of the communities make to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working on the issue.
Data from UNICEF points out that in 2017 more than 200 Guinean communities made their public declaration.
FGM has been considered a crime in Guinea-Bissau since 2011, but CNAPN reports indicate that the practice is still carried out in several communities in the country, albeit hidden.