By Sarata Jabbi
Sierra Leonean teenager died after been subjected to harmful traditional practice Female Genital Mutilation. Fatmata Turay 19 from Makeni, Sierra Leone was circumcised in an initiation ceremony, which is believed to be part of rite of passage into the Bondo society, as powerful women run secret society central to culture and identity in Sierra Leon.
Ms Turay’s death has cause a public outrage in both Sierra Leone and England as several individuals and right groups including Forward UK, BBC focus on Africa’s Umaru Fofana, and London based Sierra Leonean women’s right activist Alimatu Dimonekene twitted about it.
In an interview with Alimatu, she expressed devastation, “it was really sad to hear a young girl whose life was ahead of her die a needless death. Asked if such tragedy ever happen, she replied that several years ago a 9 year old girl died in the town of Kono, due to FGM. “Girls actually die every whose deaths don’t make the headlines”.
The reasons behind Turay’s death she added, could be many, “from education, awareness to political influence, Sierra Leone still remain a country where politics is also involve in many of those that are engaging in the initiation of girls”. And unfortunately there is yet for any prosecution, which is a shame.
Alimatu further added that her campaign group together with others will continue to speak for the voiceless like that of Fatmata Turay. On her opinion on what should be done to avoid such ordeal, she called on the government of Sierra Leone to protect girls by banning the practice of cutting, invest in education, girls’ health and create centres where girls that says no to FGM can be supported.