PRESIDENT BARROW REITERATES COMMITMENT TO ENFORCE PROHIBITION ON FGM

July 3, 2024

2 min read

PRESIDENT BARROW REITERATES COMMITMENT TO ENFORCE PROHIBITION ON FGM

Following the tabling of a bill to lift the ban on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the country, there has been significant debate among civil society organizations, human rights activists, and religious groups, including Islamic scholars advocating for the lifting of the ban. This issue has drawn attention from both national and international organizations that view the practice as a human rights violation and discrimination against women and girls.


Despite the ongoing debates, the government of The Gambia has not yet made its stance on the issue clear, leading many to question its seriousness in protecting the rights of women and girls. However, during the State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly Chambers, President Barrow emphasized the government's commitment to enforcing the prohibition on FGM.


“Honorable Speaker, noteworthy is the Private Member Bill to repeal the Women's Amendment Act 2015 currently under review by the Legislature. While awaiting its outcome, the government remains committed to enforcing the prohibition of FGM in The Gambia,” he stated.

Addressing the cases and prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV) in The Gambia in all its forms, President Barrow highlighted, “Moving forward, in 2024, we plan to expand the special court for children to handle more cases and set up a forensic lab dedicated to processing evidence in SGBV cases, specifically for rape.”


Following the second reading of the bill, it has now been referred to the Health and Gender Committee for consideration. During this stage, the committee has consulted various civil society organizations, activists, and religious groups. From these consultations, the committee will present reports and recommendations to the National Assembly, followed by a reading to decide the fate of the bill.


President Barrow's reaffirmation of the government's stance against FGM marks a crucial step in the fight to protect the rights and health of women and girls in The Gambia. The government's commitment to expanding judicial and forensic capacities also underscores its dedication to addressing GBV comprehensively.