Gambia: towards decriminalization of excision? Gambia: towards decriminalization of excision?

Gambia: towards decriminalization of excision?

Gambia: towards decriminalization of excision?

Female genital mutilation could make a comeback in The Gambia. On Monday, an independent parliamentarian recently tabled a bill to lift the ban on female circumcision.

The practice was banned in this predominantly Muslim country in 2015 when Yahya Jammeh was still president.

Parliamentarian Almameh Gibba introduced the bill at first reading. The review was postponed for a second reading scheduled for March 18. The man says female circumcision is not a necessity in Islam.

But influential Muslim clerics are pushing for the ban to be lifted. While women's rights activists promise to campaign for its retention.

Mr Jammeh's 22-year authoritarian rule ended in 2016.

Gambia Women Lawyers Association director Anna Njie said repealing the ban would be a step backwards.

“We do not have the power to tell the National Assembly what to do, but we have rights reserved in the constitution to take legal action when certain fundamental rights are violated,” she said.

The leader of the majority party in Parliament, Billay Tunkara, said he had not yet decided whether to support the bill.

"We are taking our time because it is a very sensitive area which is not only linked to religion or the cultural aspect, but also human rights and health issues," he said. he declares.

More than three-quarters of Gambian women aged 15 to 49 have undergone genital mutilation, according to the UN.

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