By Buba Gagigo
The National Youth Parliament has expressed its concern over the support of religious leaders for the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) and has called on them to support the ban on FGM.
“We are equally concerned about religious leaders supporting the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in our country, to the extent of paying the fines of convicts and having audio messages in circulation against the laws of The Gambia.
“We call on all stakeholders, including religious and traditional leaders, to support the ban on FGM and work towards eliminating this harmful practice. We also urge the government to continue its efforts to ensure the effective enforcement of the ban on FGM,” NYP said.
The National Youth Parliament of The Gambia also applauded the recent conviction of three women for carrying out female genital mutilation (FGM) in rural Gambia.
“The National Youth Parliament of The Gambia is pleased to join the rest of the country in commending the recent conviction of three women for practicing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in a rural district of our country. This is a significant milestone in the fight against FGM in The Gambia, as the first conviction since the enactment of the law.
“As an organization that advocates for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, we recognize the harmful effects of FGM on the physical and mental health of women and girls. We believe that this conviction will serve as a strong deterrent to those who still practice FGM despite the strong efforts led by government, civil society organizations, and development partners against it,” NYP said.
The National Youth Parliament of The Gambia reaffirmed its dedication to advocating for the rights of women and girls, as well as enhancing their health and overall well-being. They expressed their ongoing commitment to collaborating with partners to raise awareness and foster a shift in behaviour aimed at putting an end to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in The Gambia.