Saturday, June 3

Stakeholders Review Anti-FGM/C Laws

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By Kebba Ansu Manneh

 Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Societies Organizations (CSOs) have concluded a three days review of the Anti-FGM/C legislation passed into law by erstwhile President Yahya Jammeh in 2015.

 According to the stakeholders the purpose of the policy dialogue that begins on the 21st and ends 23rd, of March 2023, was meant to identify gaps and make recommendations and amendments that will better serve the needs of every Gambian. 

 “The reason for the confab is to review the Anti-FGM/C law to see whether there are gaps so that we can come up with a very comprehensive law that will address all issues surrounding the Anti-FGM/C in the country. The current Anti-FGM/C law on the ground was made in a rush in 2015, by the former regime that sidelined a lot of issues that need to be put into the law and are not there,” Fatou Camara Touray of the Ministry of Health disclosed.

She added: “This is why it becomes necessary after seven (7) years we felt it necessary to review the legislation so that we can address all the gaps and have a very good law. The Anti-FGM/C legislation is also part of the Women’s Act that we also want to detach from the Act and make it stand-alone law that can accommodate so many things that are affecting Anti-FGM/C in the country.” 

She revealed that a technical team has been formed which already started its job through consultations with various stakeholders including the security, nurses, NGOs, and CSOs, adding that this consultation will avail various stakeholders to critically review the law from their own perspective and identify what has been lacking and what can be added into the legislation. 

The Reproductive Maternal and Neo-Natal, Adult and Child Health Program official who is also a member of the Technical Team further disclosed that consultations will continue with the health officials, religious leaders, National Assembly Members, students, and community leaders, adding that through these consultations the Technical Team can be able to come up with a very comprehensive law that will address matters dealing with Anti-FGM/C in the country.