#Article (Archive)

Zero tolerance on FGM/C

Feb 9, 2011, 11:29 AM

Rights organizations across the globe are observing international zero tolerance day of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).

We firmly believe that it is right we as a country to also put in laws prohibiting the practice of FGM. All girls in deed eserve the right to grow up free from harmful practices that endanger their health and well-being. 

Female genital mutilation no doubt is one particular harmful traditional practice that has severe health implications for the girl child.

The practice has serious immediate and long-term health effects and a clear violation of fundamental human rights.

We recognise the efforts of the civil society organizations such as Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP), BAFROW, TOSTAN and others who are campaigning against the practice.

We also appreciate the support of development partners such as UNFPA, UNICEF and US embassy for empowering local NGOs.

It was as a result of their community outreach porgrammes and sensitisation using the right based approaches more and more communities are coming together to put an end to FGM.

To mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) we are calling for renewed commitment to put an end to FGM/C.

We call on more partners and communities to join the crusade in this critical effort of protecting innocent girls from harm.

Since it has been widely accepted in The Gambia that FGM/C is not a religious doctrine but rather a cultural practice, we call on people to consider abandoning it.

So many cultural practices have been stopped in the country after people realised that they are not in our best interest. Therefore, one such culture that needs to be legislated against is FGM/C.

Social norms and cultural practices are changing, and communities should unite to protect the rights of girls.

“It is not to live but to be healthy that makes a life”.