Fear of Ebola Curtails Female Genital Mutilation, Offers Hope of Curbing Brutal Ritual

January 14, 2015 2:55 PM

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As the death toll from Ebola approaches 9,000 in West Africa, the illness has at least temporarily disrupted female genital mutilation, a centuries-old practice that brutally harms young girls.

The respite is giving human-rights activists an opportunity to more permanently curb the tradition, which involves circumcision to partially or completely remove female genitalia. That pits organizations such as Unicef against mothers like Ballu Johnson of Sierra Leone, who is eager for her 10-year-...

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