Women Journalists Attacked after Reporting on Female Genital Mutilation in Sierra Leone
Monday, February 23, 2009 10:16 AM

Four female journalists were brutally attacked by a pro-female genital mutilation (FGM) group in Kenema, Sierra Leone.  The group was accused by members of the Bondo society of reporting on an anti-FGM campaign.  The Bondo society is a secret society of women that uses circumcision to initiate new members.  Police and human rights organizations intervened on the journalists’ behalf. 


The Bondo group’s leader admitted that the women were taken “because they spoke unfavorably on radio against FGM.”  (Cited from The Guardian, 2/10/09)  The journalists maintain that they were only reporting on FGM and did not participate in any campaign. 


FGM continues to be practiced illegally throughout Africa, often as a rite of passage, in at least 28 African countries.  Approximately 3 million young women are forced to undergo FGM each year. 


Compiled from:  The Guardian, 2/10/09; Independent Online, 2/09/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 02/02/09; Feminist Majority Foundation