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HomeLocal News24-Yr-Old Hauwa Isa Daba Escapes From FGM Initiation

24-Yr-Old Hauwa Isa Daba Escapes From FGM Initiation

Report reaching this medium has indicated that 24-Yr-old Hauwa Isa Daba has narrowly escaped from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) that is commonly called Bondo. Although Sierra Leone has subscribed to so many human right treaties in the world, to protect women and girls from various kinds of abuses, but yet still women and girls still suffer as a result of Female Genital Mutilation or Bondo. They are often forced to do so because they have been appointed by their parents or relatives to inherit certain sacred titles in the Bondo society or because the family sees it as a taboo to have a non- initiate as family member.

This has been the case for 24-yr-old Hauwa Isa Daba who fled her mother’s home town Tongo field in Kenema District because of continuous harassment to get initiated into the Bondo society. According to Hauwa’s close friend (preferred to be anonymous) who helped her escape from Sierra Leone couple of years ago. Hauwa since their primary school days as children she showed all her disgust for Bondo society and all the rituals associated to it especially when she learnt about the genital cutting. She further went on to say that when they were in JSS 2, Hauwa told her that her mother had asked that, she (hauwa) takes after her as Sowei after promoted to the next class, adding that they insisted that they must start the initiation process whilst she is alive and continue learning all the rituals as well as participating in the initiation of other members which will require her to be cutting body part of her fellow girls and young women.

She stated that Hauwa was so scared and traumatized to the point that she almost stopped schooling, adding that both of them have passion for education. This young lady continued that, Hauwa asked for help to run to her Dad who got separated from her mother and fled to Nigeria to start a new life because her Mum fully took up the Sowe (Female Genital Mutilation) task when her own mother passed on. She further revealed that she received a distress call from Hauwa in Nigeria that, her father’s new wife has also arranged a forceful marriage for her to a man who has three wives since the woman’s culture sees nothing wrong with sending girls into marriages without their consent and her father has supported every step taken by her step mother forgetting his daughter’s feelings.

She noted that her friend told her she was going to run away from there to save her life although she doesn’t know what her future will become after that. “Then it’s been months she has not heard from her friend and she is terribly worried about her where about and wellbeing in a strange man’s land,” she said. Speaking to another relative who is Hauwa’s Aunt Adama Coker she said the situation was complicated and she at the time the whole problem started, she said couldn’t help the situation because they all are bound by this same culture, adding that, though she was not asked to take a Sowe title but she too was forcefully initiated into the society at a very tender age. “I didn’t like what happened to me, I have no other choice but to live with the scars and trauma,” she said.

She however mentioned that she could not have hid Hauwa anywhere within the country to avoid the process because, Initiates and Sowes of the Bondo society are everywhere in sierra Leone, and her mother being the Pioneer for her forced initiation made the matter even more complicated for the girl. They could have captured her and forcefully initiated her which I was not in support of, so she encouraged her to leave the country. Madam Adama expressed her anguish and disappointment that the Father Isa Daba could support his wife to throw his eldest daughter into marriage to a strange man in another country.She is worried and couldn’t hold her tears as she spoke that at the moment she doesn’t know her niece’s location and expressed hope that she is safe and will one day contact her.

Unconfirmed source says she might have left for another country either within Africa or Europe. These issues and cases of escape from home from what is considered inhumane traditional practices within sierra Leone and other neighboring countries continue to send young Sierra Leoneans and African away from home and keeps them forever away from their love ones.

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