Kerr Fatou Online Media House
with focus on the Gambia and African News. Gambia Press Union 2021 TV Platform OF The Year

National Assembly Joint Committee Recommends Retaining FGM Law

0 54

Hon. Amadou Camara, Co-Chairman Of The National Assembly Joint Committee On Health, Gender

By Ramatoulie Jawo 

The National Assembly Joint Committee on Gender and Health recommended on Monday that the Women Amendment Act, 2015, which prohibits all forms of female circumcision, including genital mutilation or cutting, should be maintained in The Gambia.

During the Assembly’s sitting on Monday, 4 March 2024, in the First Ordinary Session of the 2024 Legislative Year, Honorable Almameh Gibba, the National Assembly member for Foni Kansala, introduced the Women’s (Amendment) Bill, 2024.

Upon the second reading of the bill, it was referred to the Assembly Business Committee, which then passed it on to a Joint Committee of Health and Gender for detailed consideration and scrutiny.

Presenting the report before the plenary, Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee, Hon. Amadou Camara, stated that the committee, after thorough examination and consultation with various experts, recommended maintaining the Women (Amendment) Act, 2015, to continue prohibiting female circumcision in all its forms in The Gambia.

“Protect Women’s Health and Well-being: Repealing the ban on FM/C would expose women and girls to severe health risks and violate their right to physical and mental well-being. The practice of FM/C has been consistently linked to numerous health complications, including chronic pain, infections, obstetric risks, and psychological trauma,” he said.  

Hon. Camara emphasized that preserving the ban is essential for safeguarding the health and dignity of women and girls in The Gambia.

He stated that promoting gender equality and social development requires continuing the ban on FGM/C, as its practice perpetuates harmful gender inequalities and discrimination against women and girls.

By maintaining the ban, The Gambia can reaffirm its commitment to gender equality and promote social development by challenging harmful cultural norms and practices.

Hon. Camara added that rejecting the repeal of the FGM/C ban is crucial for fostering an inclusive society where everyone can thrive free from violence and discrimination.

“Girls and women who are at risk or have undergone FM/C should have access to legal support and protection. This includes access to shelters, counseling, and other support services. Research and Data: Continued research and data collection are necessary to understand the prevalence of FM/C, its impact on individuals and communities, and the effectiveness of interventions aimed at preventing and addressing it,” he addressed. 

He emphasized that the committee has recommended a clear prohibition on any efforts to medicalize the practices of FGM/C. He noted, “The Gambia’s commitment to national, regional, and international conventions, such as CEDAW, CRC, and the Maputo Protocol, reflects its dedication to eliminating discrimination and promoting gender equality.

“The practice of Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FM/C) directly violates these commitments by infringing upon the fundamental right to health and causing severe physical and psychological harm to women and girls. Allowing FM/C to continue undermines gender equality and perpetuates abuse and discrimination, contradicting the principles enshrined in the 1997 Constitution. Repealing laws against FM/C would not only violate human rights but also hinder community development and the country’s progress towards a more inclusive and equitable society,” he mentioned. 

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.