Sierra Leonean Women Are Free to Choose is now an officially registered Community Based Organization in Freetown.
We will join hands with the Government of Sierra Leone, the Council of Sowies and Council of Paramount Chiefs to promulgate adult only, pro-choice female initiation for the 21st Century and beyond!
The specific aim of SLWAFC is to advance inter and intra gender equality of circumcised women and girls and to advocate for the constitutional and human rights of Bondo or Sande members.
SLWAFC is the first organized resistance to western financed anti- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) campaigns.
Bondo is an ancient all female institution that predates the Abrahamic religions, European colonization, the Trans Atlantic Slave trade and modern, western patriarchy. Bondo is based on the practice of circumcision, or cutting the flesh (I know, ouch!), which is the symbolic act of creation, or the separation of the sexes into male and female. Bondo coexists with Poro, the male secret society, and together these two institutions represent the complementarity and interdependence of gendered human beings as the foundation of marriage, the family and social organization.
Much of the world does not practice either male or female circumcision. The Abrahamic religions of Judaism and Islam predominantly uphold male child-only circumcision, a practice that is common among most secular American men as well (however, there are a few Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities that practice both male and female circumcision). In western countries, identical forms of female circumcision that are practiced in Bondo are becoming increasingly popularized as female genital cosmetic surgeries among educated, well-to-do, mostly white women and adolescent girls. As inheritors of matriarchal Bondo, we assert our rights to our ancestral aesthetic traditions as well as our own beliefs in the complementarity of female and male circumcision (for more information on the links between circumcision, gender identity, marriage, family and social life keep an eye on our page at www.awafc.org).
In Sierra Leone, SLWAFC will support our western inherited modern institutions in the advancement of women and girls but will also act as a check against any attempts (whether from outside or within) to import and impose aspects of western feminism, secular or religious patriarchal ideologies and any other gender or gender-free ideologies or practices that are inimical to the existence of Bondo society, our female ancestral traditions and dual-sex sociopolitical structures.
Although Bondo remains a secret society and certain knowledge will always be retained within the exclusive domain and possession of female elders and Sowies, SLWAFC will work together with our Sowies, the Government and other Civil Society organizations to develop written literature and other learning materials on the history, ethnography and sociocultural significance of female and male circumcision, initiation and our traditional societies in Sierra Leone. We take pride in who we are, in our mothers, our grandmothers and our traditions! #imitatednotmutilated
Introducing Sarah Kamara, Administrative Assistant at SLWAFC (email@example.com).
Sarah is our amazing new admin assistant. She is hard working, no nonsense and serious about being the best that she can be. A graduate from Fourah Bay College, Sarah has various experience at the National Electoral Commission, the Catholic Relief Service and as a volunteer for Youth for Christ.
Sarah is a self-starter and eager learner. We are proud to have her as one of our first hires at SLWAFC.
Feel free to contact Sarah for any queries, concerns, suggestions, complaints or MEMBERSHIP. Our general membership drive begins officially on February 6, 2017. More information coming soon....
Meet Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, legal advisor at SLWAFC (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Who in Sierra Leone does not know the fiesty, uber smart and fearless young human rights lawyer by the name Emmanuel Saffa? Saffa is known to fight the high and mighty for the sake of the underdogs within society. He is uncompromising in his integrity, honesty and dedication to the average man or woman in our country. The women of Sierra Leone have no greater champion for our rights and dignity!
Executive Director, SLWAFC and AWAFC
Editor in Chief, SiA Magazine