In a heated session at the National Assembly, discussions surrounding the proposed Women’s Amendment Act have sparked a passionate debate over the potential repeal of The Gambia’s Anti-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Law. The proposed amendment has divided Assembly members and ignited fierce arguments on both sides of the issue.

Proponents of repealing the anti-FGM law, including a coalition of National Assembly members and religious leaders, argue that FGM is deeply rooted in religious beliefs and cultural traditions, making it an integral part of Gambian society. They emphasize the need to protect cultural autonomy and resist what they perceive as Western interference in traditional practices.

On the other hand, dissenting voices within the Assembly and broader civil society have expressed grave concerns about the potential repeal. Advocates for maintaining the anti-FGM law highlight its crucial role in safeguarding the rights and well-being of Gambian women and girls. They underscore the serious health risks and irreversible harm associated with the practice, arguing that protecting individuals should take precedence over cultural considerations.

The debate has brought to the forefront a critical dilemma in The Gambia’s legislative landscape, where the values of tradition, culture, and human rights collide. As the National Assembly continues its deliberations, it faces the challenging task of finding a balance between respecting cultural traditions and upholding fundamental human rights.

The outcome of these discussions is expected to have far-reaching implications for women’s rights and cultural preservation in The Gambia. The nation watches closely as its leaders navigate these complex issues, striving to enact legislation that serves the best interests of all Gambians.

Stay tuned for further updates as the National Assembly progresses with these crucial deliberations.

Source: Awa Bah|PNAfrica’s Gambia Country Programme Officer

Translate »