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Gambia: excision ban will be respected, for now, says president.

Friday, June 28, 2024

Banjul, Gambia

Gambian President Adama Barrow yesterday Thursday June 27, 2024 assured that his government would continue to enforce the ban on female circumcision and genital mutilation pending a possible vote by Parliament to lift the proscription.
Parliament approved a bill in March to repeal the 2015 legislation banning such mutilation in the predominantly Muslim West African country.
The text has been referred to a commission for review before a final vote. The commission could present its report to Parliament in the next few days.
If Parliament were to adopt the text, Gambia would become the first country in the world to rescind its ban on such mutilation, according to the UN.
“Pending its outcome (of the parliamentary review), the government remains committed to enforcing the ban on female genital mutilation,” said President Barrow during a state of the nation address broadcast on television and social networks.
Mr. Barrow said nothing about his intentions should the text be adopted.
He is under pressure from part of the international community and his own opinion to maintain the ban, and from another part of Gambians in favor of lifting it in the name of tradition and rules presented as moral.

The Gambia is one of the ten countries where FGM is most widespread: 73% of women and girls aged between 15 and 49 have undergone the procedure, according to Unicef figures.
UN representatives warned in March that overturning the ban “would set a dangerous precedent”. The NGO Human Rights Watch also expressed concern that lifting the ban would encourage other countries to follow suit.
Unicef defines FGM as the partial or total removal of a woman’s external genitalia or any other injury to the female genitalia for non-medical reasons.

Humaniterre with AFP

 

 

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