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Liberia's Sirleaf issues last minute order against female genital mutilation


Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has issued an Executive Order seeking to protect women against domestic violence and abolishing female genital mutilation against girls below the age of 18.

The order comes as part of President Sirleaf’s closing activities with barely a day in office.

According to a statement issued by the presidential website, the Domestic Violence Law, which criminalizes domestic violence against women including violence against men and children, was passed by the 53rd National Legislature without the female genital mutilation component, which according to her undermines the very essence of the law and leaves it incomplete.

Mrs. Sirleaf said domestic violence is a deadly and dreadful act of violence that occurs most often within intimate family relationship in domestic settings, which according to her include physical, sexual, economical, emotional and psychological abuses among others.

Earlier this week, Sirleaf acknowledged that she left some stones unturned.

“We would have liked to have done much more, our agenda was much bigger than what we finally accomplished. But thanks to your strength, commitment and hard work, we have come a long way,” she told superintendents at a function to appreciate her leadership and the great improvements in the country during her administration.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has also been lauded for her efforts to empower women.
Speaking on behalf of the Superintendents Betsy Kuo Toe said, “We will remember you, Madam Speaker, for putting women in the spotlight.”

Sirleaf will handover tools of power to president-elect George Weah on Monday 22 January.

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