SiA Inc. monthly news & updates
Vol II April to August 2018
Challenging the FGM Narrative
by Diamond Bennah

One of SiA Inc's main objectives is to counter the negative social and psychosexual effects of anti-FGM campaigns by providing affected women and adolescent girls with more balanced and accurate information on health, culture, religion and gender in relation to the various forms of female circumcision.

Another objective is to educate the larger world about the one-sidedness of WHO categories and global health policies that criminalize and stigmatize females from non-western societies for upholding what opponents refer to as female genital mutilation while legitimizing similar practices (so-called female genital cosmetic surgery) that are becoming more and more popular among white western women and adolescent girls.

In April 2018, Dr. Ahmadu was invited to both George Washington University and American University to talk to students about the "other side" of the debate on female circumcision. At GWU, Dr. Ahmadu's presentation was entitled: Sia’s Genesis - Female circumcision from Ancient Egypt to modern day Sierra Leone. April 26, 2018  Women’s Gender Studies Program . George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

At AU, Dr. Ahmadu talked on the following topic: Our bodies, our culture, our choice - Bondo resistance to Global FGM Campaigns in Sierra Leone. April 3rd 2018. Special Studies in International Politics: Gender, Peace, and Security Seminar.  School of International Service. American University, Washington DC 
Before both presentations, Dr. Ahmadu showed a short documentary that was created by her sister, Sunju Ahmadu, entitled Bondo: A Journey into Kono Womanhood.

This autobiographical film depicts parts of the public ceremony of Sunju's own experience of initiation at the age of 8 years old alongside her elder sister who was in her early 20s at the time. Sunju weaves in more contemporary images of initiation in the immediate postwar period in Sierra Leone and talks to prominent anti-FGM activist,

Dr. Koso-Thomas, about what Koso-Thomas views as the harmful effects of female circumcision. Sunju also interviews Dr. Ahmadu (who had just finished fieldwork for her doctoral thesis) as well as ordinary women in both rural and peri-urban areas of the country.
Do look out for the publication of both presentations before the end of the year.
We invite our growing list of fans and other interested students, scholars, researchers, journalists and activists to subscribe to and our youtube channel Dr. Fuambai Sia Ahmadu (we're still working on the content of our social media platforms , so bear with us!). Or, if you prefer twitter and instagram, follow me on @maminapawa or @mami_na_pawa!

To book Dr. Ahmadu for your class presentation, or if you would like her to talk to your community group, or participate in a public debate or media interview, please fill out the simple request form on our website or email me directly at (
Other Highlights:

Congratulations to 2018 NOSLINA Diamond Award Winner, Dr. Fuambai Sia Ahmadu, SiA Inc. Founder and CEO!! The National Organization of Sierra Leoneans in North America is the de facto umbrella for all Sierra Leonean organizations and individuals in the U.S.and Canada. The Diamond Award is the highest honor that is bestowed on an individual for his or her contributions to advancing Sierra Leoneans back home or in the Diaspora. Find out more about NOSLINA here and more about Dr. Ahmadu's contributions to the Sierra Leone community over the last fifteen years here
Dr. Juldeh Jalloh and Madame Fatima Bio Support Group - Keynote Address May 2018
On March 7, 2018 The Republic of Sierra Leone held general elections. A run-off took place on March 28th, 2018 which heralded in a new President, Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio and Vice-President Dr. Juldeh Jalloh. On May 12, 2018, The Dr. Juldeh Jalloh and Fatima Bio Support Group invited Dr. Ahmadu as their keynote speaker on Sierra Leone Women in Politics. Dr. Ahmadu's speech was clearly a tribute to Madame Fatima Bio, the current First Lady of Sierra Leone whom Ahmadu describes as an amazing fighter and trailblazer for women in the African political arena. This speech is posted here
ALL WOMEN ARE FREE TO CHOOSE - membership updates from our affiliates

Gambian Women are Free to Choose - GWAFC
3,089 members!!!

The summer months have been busy for our fieldworkers and activists in The Gambia. Our volunteers managed to enroll over 3,000 women from several different kafos around the country as members of GWAFC who will later this fall elect their national and division wide leadership.
Sierra Leone Women are Free to Choose - SLWAFC
9,562 members!!!

Our Sierra Leone team has also enrolled an additional 5,000 women as members of SLWAFC with total membership of over 9,000 women from all Districts of the country!

SLWAFC is looking for paid volunteers to fill vacancies at our national executive and district level committees. We will also soon announce our recruitment of an experienced Country Director who will oversee our programs and field work and lead the grassroots movement in Sierra Leone.

We are seeking motivated, energetic women 18-65 as volunteers. Please contact the PA at +

In a soon to be released joint statement by the National Sowie Council and Sierra Leone Women are Free to Choose, the representatives of both of these organizations intend to send a clear message to the NGO community, donor partners and the entire diplomatic presence in the country strongly condemning a radio ad sponsored by Dfid and Amnesty International that was circulated on social media a few months ago, which falsely depicted Bondo Society as engaged in forced initiation of young girls.

The NSC and SLWAFC have a zero-tolerance policy against psychologically damaging FGM propaganda. Both organizations will continue to work together and collaboratively with other well-meaning institutions to ensure the social and political rights of women within Bondo as well as the highest standard of health and well-being of all girls and women in the country.

We will continue to encourage conversations with opponents of female circumcision and those individual women who are self-described FGM survivors to ensure that all voices are heard and respected.
Debriefing Gathering:
FC Awareness Week and Madam Yoko
Mami Na Pawa Festival
After the Sierra Leone's first annual Female Circumcision Awareness Week and Madam Yoko Festival the past February 5-10, 2018, the National Sowie Council and Sierra Leone Women are Free to Choose took some much need rest and rejuvenation and then regrouped for a grand debriefing meeting in the heart of Freetown. Below are some images of the fun we had. For more picture and videos clips - visit our Youtube Channel and click Mami Na Pawa Debriefing Meeting.
Debriefing Meeting - National Sowie Council
Stay Tuned for the 2nd Annual Madam Yoko Festival - February 2019 Details coming soon....

Below you can visit our YouTube channel Dr Fuambai Sia Ahmadu and click on the video of Star Zee's performance at the Madam Yoko Festival 2018
Learn more about SiA's budding worldwide grassroots women's movement redefining global feminism

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