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Mai Fatty supports repealing of FGM law

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By Omar Bah

Gambia Moral Congress leader, Mai Ahmad Fatty, has declared his personal support for the bill seeking to repeal the Women’s (Amendment) Act 2015. The bill seeking to decriminalise female genital mutilation will be tabled today at the National Assembly for its first reading.

“Whenever the occasion demands it, I raise my support for medically sanctioned or supervised female circumcision in The Gambia. I have always contended that the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) does not exist in The Gambia. In this country, we circumcise and not mutilate,” Fatty told The Standard.

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He argued that there is “this mischievous distortion of gargantuan proportions ascribed to female circumcision as practiced in The Gambia by UN Agencies and their co-conspirators within civil society. This corrupted version, couched in carefully misleading medical and scientific jargon designed to promote unrestrained promiscuity prevalent in Western societies, is deceptively sold to us as a major health hazard,” he argued.

As a typical provincial Jahanka of the great Manding clan and a Muslim, Fatty added, “No one in this universe is competent to lecture me on the type of cultural practice that exists in The Gambia.”.

“The advocates would like us to believe that it is inimical to women’s health. Yet the available distorted statistics, designed to facilitate their miseducation itself, do not portray a national health crisis. Like most things personal about a woman’s physiognomy, female circumcision should be a matter of choice. In that case, those individuals and organisations who hold adverse views about it may continue to propagate with a view to achieving their objective through persuasion and not through the abuse of the coercive propensity of the law,” he said.

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He stressed that it is highly regrettable that the National Human Rights Commission, statutorily tasked with protecting rights, is “wrongfully advocating the usurpation of the right to choose from parents who know better what constitutes the best interests of their children.”.

“They do not speak for me and hundreds of thousands of Gambians who rightfully hold the contrary view. We disown and totally reject the position of the NHRC as speaking for themselves only as private individuals illegally hiding behind a national institution to propagate personal agendas. On this matter, I urge Gambians to ignore them. Let me also state that I do not share the view that women who are not circumcised are comparatively more promiscuous. The matter for me should be more about subjective choice for parents and not an issue of penal considerations,” he stated.

Fatty urged NAMs to support the bill and put an immediate end to this blatant deprivation of personal choice.

“To the UN and its specialised agencies, as development partners, stay out of our internal matters,” he said.

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