Rescued From Bush School, Girls Detail Trauma; Mothers Pursue Justice

Mount Barclay, LIBERIA – Going to the “Sande Bush” school was never a dream for Dearest, Tina or Precious. The three girls, all high school students, say they were abducted by traditional leaders in September and taken by force to the Sande without the consent of their parents. They spent six terrifying weeks at the…

NN Writes on our Role in the Ban on Female Genital Cutting

NN’s Mae Azango and Prue Clarke write on the role of good journalism in breaking the taboo around female genital cutting in Liberia that led to its eventual ban for the Columbia Journalism Review.   PRESIDENT ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF left office in January with a tremendous, if overdue, parting gift for the girls of Liberia….

NN’s Mae Azango’s Brave Reporting Features on Chime for Change

When Mae Azango wrote her cover story on the health effects of female genital cutting in Liberia’s major newspaper, FrontPage Africa on International Women’s Day in March 2012 she had little idea of the firestorm she would ignite. Within days Mae and her 9-year-old daughter were in hiding – the targets of death threats from…

NN Reporting Prompts Govt to Announce Elimination of Female Genital Cutting Day

In the wake of the international uproar prompted by death threats against NN Country Manager Mae Azango, the Liberian government has taken the unprecedented step of announcing February 6 will be “Intensifying Efforts for Elimination of Female Genital Cutting” Day. Before the breakthrough reporting by Azango in FrontPage Africa and NN fellow Tetee Gebro for…

Genital Cutting Threatens the Health of Liberia’s Women

The cultural practice of female genital cutting is rampant in Liberia, especially in the countryside.  Parents send girls as young as infants to ceremonies conducted by a secretive indigenous religion known as the Sande to be cut without knowing the health risks involved.  But openly talking about this secret rite of passage is taboo here. …