Gambian Legislator Calls for Legalizing Female Circumcision Again

March 6, 2024 Hour: 9:03 pm

A Gambian legislator is introducing a bill to repeal the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Act.


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The bill was presented to the National Assembly last Monday and is generating debates among conservative religious and political groups that ensure that FGM becomes legal again.

Almameh Gibba, promoter of the project in favor of ablation, defends it saying that it is a cultural and religious tradition, heritage of the country.

In Gambia, a Muslim-majority country, the different schools of Islam do not agree among themselves on the issue of female circumcision as a rite of passage into adulthood.

The legislation of the African country imposes penalties of up to three years’ imprisonment, a fine of 50,000 dalasi ($622) or both. Moreover, if female genital mutilation resulted in the death of the victim, the perpetrator could be sentenced to life imprisonment.

The ban on excision came into force in 2015. The first case sanctioned was that of three women sentenced to prison for female genital mutilation, but influential religious groups supported them and demanded their freedom.

The Vice-President of the National Assembly of the Gambia, Seedy Njieh, stated that, despite having supporters, the Assembly is committed not to allow the legalization of female genital mutilation.

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), the countries where FGM is most practiced are Somalia, where 98% of women between 15 and 49 years of age have undergone excision, there are also Sierra Leone, Djibouti and Guinea, with about 90% of women mutilated.

Regarding child genital mutilation, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the countries where female genital mutilation is most practised in girls aged 0-14 are Mauritania and by 2015 Gambia.

Autor: teleSUR/ CC

Fuente: Africanews

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