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The Gambia Government’s Stance on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

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Hon. Fatou Kintel Minister

Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare

In the last few years, government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have taken a series of actions to tackle FGM. Regardless of its shorteomings, the enactment of the Women’s Amendment Act 2015, which bans FGM. marked significant progress in addressing FGM in the Gambia.

While thousands of girls are still at risk of being subjected to FGM. there is growing evidence that progress is being made toward ending the practice in The Gambia. This achievement could be attributed to the growing inclusion of some communities in developing interventions that allow for ownership of these initiatives and influencing positive change in ending FGM. Community sensitisation and outreach activities, including community dialogues with traditional, religious, and community leaders, continue to take place and vield some positive results

With the introduction of the Private Member Bill (PMB) to repeal the Women’s Amendment Act 2015. the Grovement has been in consultation with the National Assembly to uphold the law prohibiting the practice of FGM in The Gambia. Despite the Government’s position to maintain the law, it had to allow the Private Member Bill to follow the due parliamentary process to demonstrate the Government’s adherence to democratic principles and the rule of law. The Women’s Amendment Bill 2024 has now been referred to the Select Committees for further consultation and expert opinion from specialized Ministries (Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Justice).

In its drive to protect the welfare, health and well-being of women and girls, The Gambia will continue social mobilisation at the community level on the health and reproductive health consequences of FGM as well as the 1 human rights violation of the practice. Efforts to advance gender equality require improved coordination at the inter-ministerial level and across different state and non-state actors.

In conclusion. The Gambia wishes to express its appreciation of the efforts of all development partners, non-govemmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) for their continued support and reiterate its strong commitment to advancing gender equality and protecting the rights of women and girls in The Gambia.

Hon. Fatou Kintel Minister

Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare

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