Health, fitness and Food

Fighting FGM, Sierra Leone – Ebola free? And World Humanitarian Day

By  | 

Meet “Mariatu”, the 16-year-old girl who is bravely standing up to female genital mutilation in Sierra Leone. Mariatu fled her village to avoid being initiated into its all-female secret society, in which FGM is considered a rite of passage. Watch her story and hear from two soweis, the highest ranking figures in secret societies, who speak about the role of FGM in their community.

Also in Sierra Leone, teams fighting Ebola say they may have seen the last cases of the disease. Guardian journalist Lisa O’Carroll reports on the release of the last patient from the country’s treatment centres, which started a 42-day countdown to Ebola-free status.

To mark World Humanitarian Day, we spoke to five aid workers about the highs and lows of life on the frontline. Read their dispatches from Iraq, South Sudan, Yemen, Sierra Leone and Somalia.

Elsewhere on the site


Following Amnesty International’s decision to support the decriminalisation of the sex trade, Kay Thi Win, coordinator for the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers, described why she supported the move. “We hope Amnesty’s decision will move the discussion firmly into the sphere of human rights, rather than moral or religious frameworks,” she said. And as World Water Week meetings take place in Stockholm, development economist Ian Ross called for greater accountability of water and sanitation programmes in order to tackle the challenge of ensuring safe water for all.


Pictures: The village where men are banned

Video: Living in fear of FGM in Sierra Leone: ‘I’m not safe in this community’

Podcast: Counting the cost of the Boko Haram crisis

What you said: top reader comment

On the piece The village where men are banned, ellieban wrote:

To the people finding a women-only group sexist: this village exists as a refuge from a strongly paternalistic society that is often violent towards its women folk. These women have had experiences that mean they cannot feel safe around men. Not all men are violent, and perhaps those who aren’t can show their non violence by treating this need with respect, not judging, and keeping their distance.

I’m sure these women would prefer to live in a society where such a refuge was not necessary, but they don’t. This is not sexism: it’s healing.

Highlight from the blogosphere

Overseas Development Insitute: China has almost ended urban poverty – a promising start for the SDGs

And finally …

Poverty matters will return in two weeks with another roundup of the latest news and comment. In the meantime, keep up to date on the Global Development website. Follow @gdndevelopment and the team – @swajones, @LizFordGuardian, @MarkC_Anderson and @CarlaOkai – on Twitter, and join Guardian Global Development on Facebook.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.