NAMs want FGM/C law repealed

NAMs want FGM/C law repealed

National Assembly Members (NAMs) have challenged the law on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), calling for it to be repealed.

Hon. Sulayman Saho, the legislator for Central Baddibu, who tabled the motion, described the issue of Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C) as a cause for concern.

“Decades ago, there were activists who launched campaigns against the practice with the support of non-governmental organisations. The advocacy continues to highlight the negative outcomes but the proponents and those practicing FGM also advanced certain advantages until when the former President Alh. Yaya Jammeh made a pronouncement in his home town of Kanilai to ban the practice,” Hon. Jammeh recalled. “The pronouncement was followed by an enactment of a legislation by this humble Assembly to criminalize the act of FGM.”

 

The National Assembly Member for Sami, Hon. Alfusainey Ceesay, said, a law is meant to help its citizens. However, he added: “Any law that disturbs our citizens should be banned. That is why we should not rush into enacting such decisions.”

 

Foni Kansala lawmaker, Hon. Almammi Gibba, emphasised that “this House will bury the FGM law.”

 

“I am calling on all Members of this House to come up with a private bill to repeal the law on FGM,” he stressed.

 

However, Hon. Lamin Ceesay, the NAM for Kiang West, made it clear that they are speaking on behalf of their people (electorates) who elected them as representatives. He added: “99.9% disagreed with the banning of female circumcision. This has been in the Women Act since 2015 but not in the Constitution. The Constitution is the supreme law of the people; the freedom of rights and religion law, the National Assembly should not make any law that is against the will of the citizens. The purpose of this is not based on health but rather against our religion,” he noted.

 

The NAM for Foni Berefet Amie Colley, dilated: “I am ashamed to face men; being a Muslim to discuss such. We cannot condemn our tradition. Even the whites have their own tradition. We cannot impose what the people are not in for. They should not be segmented on it.”

 

The Lower Saloum legislator, Hon Sainey Jawara, said: “These activists have caused us a lot. Now they want to use us. We are not for it. We are Muslims and we must practice it. I must teach my children and my neighbours.”

 

Many believe that the Female Genital Cutting practice has both cultural and religious dimensions, and has been practiced since time immemorial, handed down from one generation to the other.

Source: The Point

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