MONROVIA, Liberia — I never thought covering women's issues would become dangerous. That was until I reported on female genital mutilation (FGM) and the activities of my country's secret society for women, Sande, which operates "bush schools" where the cutting is done.
My story was published March 8, 2012, International Women's Day, on the front page of the paper where I work. The first threats came to my editor on the day the article appeared. I was outside Monrovia working in a rural area. She called me and said, "Mae, you have to leave right away because I have received numerous phone calls threatening to drag you to the Sande bush and have you cut."
I went home that day. When I walked in, a tenant who rents from me said, "So, you wrote this story exposing us. You shouldn't have done it. You had no business to write the story. If you go to any rural area you will never return to Monrovia alive."