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" /> Voice Out Digital Government of The Gambia Takes a Stand Against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) | Voice Out Digital
Published On: Thu, Mar 28th, 2024

Government of The Gambia Takes a Stand Against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare of The Gambia government has made a resolute declaration, firmly stating their position on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). 

With a strong commitment to safeguarding the rights and well-being of women and girls, the government is taking decisive action to eliminate this harmful practice.

The ministry emphasizes that it has been working hard to tackle FGM since the 1980s when it was considered a taboo practice and that thanks to support from organizations like UNICEF and UNFPA, they have been able to raise awareness and mobilize communities. As a result, the prevalence rate dropped from 90% to 76% according to the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) in 2013.

The government has also signed important international agreements like the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Platform of Action (BPA), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). As They have  even enacted domestic legislation such as the Children’s Act, the Women’s Act, the Domestic Violence Act, and the Sexual Offences Act.

The ministry outlined that unfortunately, even with all these efforts, gender inequality and discrimination against girls and women still exist and added that harmful practices like FGM put their sexual and reproductive health at risk that’s why it’s so important for them to take a stand against it.

The government retaliated that with the introduction of the Private Member Bill (PMB) to repeal the Women’s Amendment Act 2015 they have been in consultation with the National Assembly to uphold the law prohibiting the practice of FGM in The Gambia. 

They further stated that 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).

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