Tuesday, 9 July 2024.

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Lawmaker wants FGM to be legalised in Gambia

By Chris Thompson

A measure to overturn the Women’s (Amendment) Act of 2015, which banned circumcision and other forms of Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, has been introduced by a lawmaker from Gambia.

The bill was introduced in the national assembly for a first reading on Monday.

The external female genital organs are cut or altered during circumcision for non-medical purposes – and – with The Gambia’s population being predominantly Muslim, the issue is divisive. Some Muslim scholars have banned FGM while others don’t.

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According to Africanews, since the ban was introduced nearly a decade ago, debates have been ongoing in the country. Last August, in – the first prosecution under the 2015 law –, three women were convicted of FGM. One of The Gambia’s influential clerics supported them.

The Gambia’s National Assembly deputy Speaker seedy Njie told the newspaper, The Standard there is a strong commitment from the majority caucus to ensure that the bill is defeated.

According to the WHO, more than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is practised.

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Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson is an international writer with expertise in politics, business and public affairs.

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