Now more than ever, we need more concerted efforts to end Female Genital Mutilation in The Gambia
Joint Statement by UNFPA The Gambia Representative Ms. Ndeye Rose Sarr and UNICEF The Gambia Representative Ms. Nafisa Binte Shafique on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
Banjul, 5 February 2024
For the 75% of women and girls in The Gambia who have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), their dignity, health, and wellbeing have been compromised. The fight against this harmful practice goes beyond preventing girls from being physically subjected to FGM – it is a concerted effort to safeguard and restore the rights and well-being of girls and women globally.
Marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme, reaffirms its commitment and emphasizes the urgent need to eliminate FGM and advance gender equality. We recommit ourselves to upholding the significant challenges ahead as we work to support ending this harmful practice. This year’s theme: Her Voice, Her Future: Investing in Survivors-Led Movements to End Female Genital Mutilation, aims to amplify the resilient voices of survivors and invest in survivor-led movements to expedite the realization of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Now more than ever, we must listen to and support survivors while investing in policies and programmes that champion their wellbeing in the fight against FGM.
Both UNFPA and UNICEF acknowledge the progress made in The Gambia towards eliminating FGM, thanks to the collaborative efforts of government, civil society organizations, communities, and development partners. However, with seven years remaining in the SDGs decade of action, there is still significant work to be done. The prevalence of FGM in The Gambia remains a concern and its harmful health and psychological consequences persist.
This joint statement by UNFPA and UNICEF calls for enhanced collaboration among the government, civil society organizations, communities, and development partners to accelerate efforts in eradicating FGM. This involves raising awareness, supporting survivors, and strengthening legal frameworks to protect girls and women from this harmful practice.
On this International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, UNFPA and UNICEF urge all stakeholders to unite in the global movement to end FGM, ensuring a safer, healthier, and more equitable future for every girl and woman.