A secret plan to abolish the women’s traditional
society in Liberia—the Sande—in existence for centuries, has emerged, with Montserrado County Supt. Grace Kpan revealing that initial progress has already been made in the County through the assistance of UNMIL, while asking the UN Security Council to provide more help in finishing the job around the country.
When the debate over the Sande, known in western NGO-activist circles as ‘Female Genital Mutilation—emerged months ago, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf denied that the government’s plan was to ban the traditional society. She said the objective was to shift schedules so that girls could be allowed to enroll in formal schools.
But her Superintendent for Montserrado County, Mrs. Grace Kpan, an evangelist, Sunday appealed to visiting members of the UN Security Council who visited areas in the County for assistance—financial perhaps—to eradicate the society that runs through West Africa here. She said the intent is to carry out the eradication exercise throughout the country, describing the centuries-old practice as primitive and evil.
“I strongly believe it is evil because there are times that little children even die in the bushes,” Mrs. Kpan told the U.N. delegation in Kortu town community.
She claimed that children 7-9 years old are brought into various bushes all over the country to undergo FGM.
Citing that FGM is being practiced in communities near Monrovia, Mrs. Kpan said: We think it needs to be abolished. We know that it is a strong traditional belief but for modern society and for the saving of life we think it is wrong.”