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Women’s Bureau welcomes Jammeh’s banning of FGM

Nov 30, 2015, 10:40 AM | Article By: Yai Dibba

The leadership of Women’s Bureau has welcomed President Yahya Jammeh’s banning of female genital mutilation (FGM), saying the decision was to promote the advancement and development of women in The Gambia.

The women’s rights organisation recently gathered the media to brief them of their stance vis-à-vis the FGM ban.

President Yahya Jammeh has declared a complete ban on FGM in The Gambia with immediate effect. He made the pronouncement during a rally at his home village in Kanilai, recently.

The president said after 21 years of research in the holy Quran, he had realised the practice of FGM is traditionally based on “no concrete facts”. As a result, he banned it because “it endangers the lives of women and girls”.

In reaction to the pronouncement, Binta Jammeh-Sidibeh, executive director of Women’s Bureau, said the Gambian leader used to say that he is willing to spill his blood for the Gambian women and “this pronouncement is a manifestation of that”.

She said the president has been listening to anti-FGM campaigners since the campaign and sensitisation on FGM started 31 years ago.

Campaigners said FGM is harmful because it has affects the health of children and young girls as it can cause HIV and AIDS, infertility, cancer, long term physical pain during childbirth and many other short and long term complications.

Madam Jammeh-Sidibeh said President Jammeh has always been there for women and young girls and has done a lot to ensure women and girls in The Gambia are free from all forms of violence.

The women’s bureau director also applauded Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, vice president and minister of women’s affairs, who has been active in efforts to ban FGM in the country.

She also commended the media and the people who have been involved in the campaign against FGM.

However, she said the ban is not the end of the whole process; they will continue sensitising the people especially the circumcisers on the effects of FGM.