Quoting from The Gambia Demographic Health Survey, 2013, Ms Fatou Kinteh said 96 percent of households in Basse perform the traditional practice compared to Banjul, the lowest, with 47.4 percent.
She said: “This shows that thousands of girls continue to undergo the practice throughout The Gambia. FGM leads to devastating health and psychological effects. For some of the victims, the effect continues to harm them throughout their lives.
“It is a clear manifestation that FGM is not an Islamic obligation. In the past, it formed an important part of the rite of passage where adolescent girls were prepared for marriage. Today the age at which FGM is performed differs from one area to another area and from one culture to another culture on infants as young as seven days old to women at the time of marriage.”
Ms Kinteh made this disclosure over the weekend at a forum on gender-based violence jointly organised by Think Young Women in collaboration with Safe Hands for Girls and WE-MEN Campaign.
She added: “Violence against women is a manifestation of unequal power relations between men and women leading to domination and discrimination against women and girls by men and prevention of the full advancement of women. There are also instances where the rights of women and girls are violated by women. As we speak, the rights of thousands of women and girls are being violated throughout the world. Violence can be sexual, physical, emotional, economic and psychological. Whatever the form, they are all a violation of the human rights of women and girls and it is the responsibility of us all to make sure that these violations stop and never happen again.”
Njundu Drammeh of Child Protection Alliance, Sait Matty Jaw of We-Men campaign and Yassin Nyang of Think Young Women spoke at the event.]]>