27.2 C
City of Banjul
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
spot_img
spot_img

Gov’t breaks silence on FGM

- Advertisement -

The minister of gender, children and social welfare, Fatou Kinteh, has broken her long silence on the protracted FGM debate.

The Gambia government has come under heavy criticism for its silence after a bill was introduced in parliament to repeal the anti-FGM law which was enacted in 2015 during the Yahya Jammeh regime.

The bill, sponsored by Foñi Kansala NAM Almameh Gibba, has been referred to the relevant committees of the National Assembly after it passed both the first and second readings.

- Advertisement -

Despite a heightened public bashing throughout the process, the children’s ministry remained quiet with growing calls from activists online for the minister’s resignation.

However, in a statement on Saturday a week after 42 NAMs voted for the bill to continue to the next stage, Mrs Kinteh said: “With the introduction of the Private Member Bill to repeal the Women’s Amendment Act 2015, the government has been in consultation with the National Assembly to uphold the law prohibiting the practice of FGM in The Gambia. Despite the government’s position to maintain the law, it had to allow the Private Member’s 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 specialised ministries (Gender, Children and Social Welfare; Ministry of Health; and Ministry of Justice).”

Mrs Kinteh said the government will continue to create awareness on the negative consequences of the deep-rooted practice.

- Advertisement -

“In its drive to protect the welfare, health and well-being of women and girls, The Gambia will continue social mobilisation at the community level on the health and reproductive health consequences of FGM as well as the human rights violation of the practice. Efforts to advance gender equality require improved coordination at the inter-ministerial level and across different state and non-state actors.

“In conclusion, The Gambia wishes to express its appreciation of the efforts of all development partners, non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations for their continued support and reiterate its strong commitment to advancing gender equality and protecting the rights of women and girls in The Gambia,” the statement said.

Join The Conversation
- Advertisment -spot_img
- Advertisment -spot_img