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NYP Urges Legislators to Take Decisive Action Against FGM/C

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At the National Assembly

By Ramatoulie Jawo

The National Youth Parliament (NYP) presented a position paper to the National Assembly’s Joint Committee on Health and Gender, advocating for decisive legislative measures to terminate FGM/C practices and safeguard the rights of young people, particularly girls.

During the presentation, Hon. Ndegen Jobe, Deputy Speaker of the NYP, highlighted the need for a unified and comprehensive strategy that includes government bodies, non-profit organizations, faith-based and community leaders, and global allies to tackle the root causes of FGM/C and foster gender parity.

“Together, we can attain a Gambia where every young person can thrive, fulfill their potential, and be freed from all forms of harmful traditional practice,” she said.

She stressed that as champions of the well-being, protection, and empowerment of young people, particularly young women, the National Youth Parliament strongly opposes the repeal of the law banning FGM/C and calls for enhanced measures to ensure its effective enforcement.

She added that they stand in solidarity with survivors and affected communities, affirming their rights to bodily autonomy, health, and dignity.

“We urge the National Assembly to uphold the ban on FGM/C and reject any attempts to medicalize or legitimize this harmful practice. Instead, we call for comprehensive measures to address the root causes of FGM/C, including increased community engagement, education, and access to healthcare and support services. It is imperative that we safeguard the rights and well-being of young girls and women, ensuring a future free from gender-based violence and discrimination,” she told the lawmakers. 

When Hon. Suwaibou Touray of the Gender Committee inquired about the prevalence of FGM Type 2 in the Gambia, the Deputy Speaker of the Youth Parliament responded with findings from a GBOS study indicating that Type 2 FGM constitutes 8.4% of the cases.

She further noted that a 2017 clinical research in the Gambia revealed that women subjected to FGM/C have a higher likelihood of facing serious childbirth complications, such as heavy bleeding, tears in the perineum, and the necessity for surgical intervention.

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