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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Barrow urged to clear air on FGM

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By Mustapha Darboe

Activists fighting against the practice of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in the country have asked President Adama Barrow to make a categorical statement in defense of the law banning the practice.
Former President Yahya Jammeh banned FGM but since the fall of Jammeh, activists said some Gambians are disrespecting the law on grounds that it was a “Jammeh law”.

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Anti FGM activist Jaha Dukureh of Safe Hands for Girls, said: “There is a lot of assumption that the FGM law is a Jammeh law and since Jammeh is gone, it should be put aside. So regardless of where they stand, the new government should come up with its position on FGM.”

Dukureh said there is need for the new government to break silence on the matter because continuous silence will be an affirmation to wrong assumptions about the law. “I must however say that I met President Barrow who assured me that the FGM law and indeed good laws will stay. But that is just him. The government as a whole should come out and tell people that the law is still a Gambian law and not just a Jammeh law,” Dukureh said.

Meanwhile The Standard has gathered that a child was hospitalised last week at the Serekunda General Hospital suspected to have been a case of circumcision on the orders of her parents.
Our source said the little girl’s case is now with the Department of Social Welfare.
A couple of months ago, a young girl was hospitalised at the Farafenni hospital after she was subjected to FGM.

Mary Small, the managing director of Gamcotrap, also added her voice to the call for a definitive statement from government in defense of the law.
“That will help a lot and kill this notion that the law was a Jammeh law which ended with his presidency,” Small said.
The Standard’s many attempts to get a word from the spokesperson of the presidency, Amie Bojang, went futile.

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