Skip to main content

No more deaths: It’s time for Sierra Leone to protect the lives of women and girls and enact a law against FGM

In January 2024, three girls in Sierra Leone lost their lives to FGM. Kadiatu Bangura, 17, Salamatu Jalloh, 13, and Adamsay Sesay, 12, succumbed to bleeding.  Their deaths came two years after the death of 21-year-old  Maseray Sei, who died from acute hemorrhaging and shock after undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) in December 2021. These incidents highlight the alarming rise in FGM-related fatalities in Sierra Leone, where, according to the 2019 Demographic Health Survey, 83% of women and girls aged 15 to 49  have undergone the procedure.

Sign our joint petition with the Forum against Harmful Practices and Not in My Name, calling for the Government of Sierra Leone to ban the practice and for effective investigation and prosecution of the recent FGM-related deaths. 

Sierra Leone’s government is failing in its duty to protect women and girls from FGM

Sierra Leone lacks a specific law criminalizing FGM, leaving women and girls vulnerable. The government’s failure to act, combined with ineffective enforcement of existing laws, has created a dangerous gap in the protection of women and children.

Local activists are fighting against FGM but are in dire need of political support and funding. We’ve joined The Forum Against Harmful Practices ( FAHP) and Not In My Name, coalitions leading the fight to end FGM in Sierra Leone, to call on Sierra Leone to introduce a law banning FGM. 

Do you have 10 seconds to take action to protect women and girls in  Sierra Leone?

It will only take 10 seconds to sign this petition urging the Government of Sierra Leone, President Julius Maada Bio, and Gender Minister Isata Mahoi to:

  • Introduce a law banning FGM and punish offenders;
  • Conduct thorough investigations into FGM-related deaths;
  • Prosecute those responsible for FGM deaths;
  • Implement community education programs to empower women and girls.

FGM is a human rights violation and a health risk. By not criminalizing it, Sierra Leone fails to protect its women and girls. Outlawing FGM would help prosecute offenders, protecting thousands of vulnerable girls and women.

We’ve been working on this issue for years along with partners and will continue to call on Sierra Leone to fulfill its commitments under international law to protect and promote the rights of women and girls. Equality Now will continue to advocate to ensure that the lives of young girls are protected from unavoidable harm and fatalities caused by FGM. Read our 2022 open letter Equality Now presented to President Julius Bio urging him to take action to end FGM in Sierra Leone.

Join the movement to protect women and girls by signing and sharing this petition today.


news and insights

Invest in the Multi-Sectoral Approach to end FGM

As Zero Tolerance Day for Female Genital Mutilation approaches, we look at why anti-FGM laws are still needed, and how a mult...