June 25, 2024

3 min read


Following the tabling of the bill, which seeks to repeal the ban on FGM, the National Youth Parliament has been in consultations with constituencies across the country to hear their concerns and perspectives on the issue.

So far, the organization has engaged with 19 constituencies across the five regions. In each of these regions, they have gathered community leaders, National Assembly Members (NAMs), and Councillors. While sharing their findings and research, the NYP also listened to local perspectives on FGM. This is part of their efforts to raise awareness and sensitize communities about the harmful effects of this practice.

During the discussions, participants shared varied opinions on whether the practice should remain banned.

"This is a culture we inherited. The problems we have now regarding FGM existed in the old days. We cannot stop the practice," remarked resident Mariama Marong.

"This discussion is important so that our NAMs will know what their people want regarding the FGM issue. My stand is that this is our culture, and we cannot stop it," stated Lamin Ceesay.

Kassim Jatta, a member of the Children's National Assembly, shared a different view: "The idea behind FGM is rooted in parents’ fear that their children will become pregnant before marriage, but that is not preventing it. The only thing we can do is talk to our children about these issues. Subjecting them to FGM is not the solution. Our forefathers' generation is different from ours; we cannot inherit everything they did."

Kachan Ward Councilor Assuman Chatty suggested, "FGM should be left as a choice. Those who want to practice it, let them do it, and those who don't, let them be."

Yaffili Dibba shared her ongoing involvement in the practice: "Yes, there might be laws against it, but people are still practicing it. I cut over 20 young girls in my house each day and the police know about this. I still have the materials and will continue."

Another resident, Lamin Dampha, viewed FGM as a cultural and religious matter: "FGM is a Western ideology aimed at challenging our religion and culture. If you want us to believe you, give us proof. Here in Illiasa, we will never stop the practice."

Bintou Fofana criticized the focus on FGM by NAMs: "What I think is that NAMs are not doing their job well. We have many pressing issues they should focus on rather than this. This is a practice we've seen our grandmothers doing, and we cannot stop it."

These discussions highlight the deep-rooted cultural significance of FGM in these communities and underscore the challenges faced in efforts to end the practice. Continued dialogue and education are crucial in addressing these complex issues.

The NYP will continue these engagements, reaching communities across NBR and CRR, targeting grassroots communities in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation. The goal is to foster understanding, change perceptions, and ultimately end this harmful practice.