Honourable Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, has on Monday August 29th 2016, highly commended a famous female lawyer Mariama Dumbuya Esq. for what Blyden describes as "a well written piece on female circumcision by a highly educated Sierra Leonean female lawyer".
|Lawyer Mariama Dumbuya
According to Hon. Blyden who was speaking in an exclusive chat with this writer, the Op-Ed which was shared on social media by the female lawyer last weekend and also appeared in several local printed media yesterday, was "respectful yet insightful, sensitive yet objective and infact, let me just summarise, it was superb!"
Hon. Dr. Blyden said Lawyer Mariama's advise for the government in terms of legislating specific laws against under-aged circumcision was taken in good faith.
The minister however cautioned that given that up to 80% of the society were practising it, in order to prevent a backlash of resentment similar to what happened in a nearby country, "it is imperative for a lot of respectful sensitization to be undertaken around the country in order to protect our girls."
Continuing to place emphasis on respectful dialogue, Hon. Blyden used the chance of her interview with Awareness Times, to condemn recent media radio and TV programs which had publicly aired derogatory comments about the sexuality of certain classes of women in the country.
"Insulting women because they are Bondo initiates is something this government will never tolerate," Blyden assures adding that infact her ministry will soon take steps to engage the Independent Media Commission to request a sanction of those media houses that were making it a habit to be airing insults of women who had been initiated into Bondo.
"We will soon put a stop to such rudeness," the no-nonsense minister asserted.
In sharp contrast to the ongoing strong push by Minister Blyden for Bondo women to be respected, the deputy minister at her ministry, Hon. Neneh Rugiatu Turay, who has made it a habit to be publicly challenging her boss, has in published media interviews, described all those who believe in female circumcision (FGM) to be nothing other than uneducated illiterates.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.