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Gambia: Women’s NGO pushes for anti-FGM law

Gamcotrap, a leading NGO in The Gambia campaigning against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is looking to engage the government over a national legislation against the traditional practice which is seen as affecting the health of women.In an exclusive interview with the {African Press Agency} on Sunday, the executive director of Gamcotrap, Dr Isatou Touray, said they are would encourage the government to study and endorse its proposed law to outlaw FGM in The Gambia.

The organization has since sent a copy of the proposed bill to the Ministry of Justice, Women’s Bureau, and to the Office of the Vice President for their opinion.

According to Dr Touray, Gamcotrap was still waiting for their response.
She blamed the government’s non-committal policy towards FGM on an ongoing debate in The Gambia over misconceptions about the practice and Islam.

Dr Touray was speaking two days after an international forum aimed at addressing misconceptions about Islam and FGM ended on Friday during which religious leaders in the West African sub-region condemned the practice as un-Islamic.

The Children’s Act of 2005 and other laws promoting women’s rights in The Gambia are in place but do not specifically prohibit FGM because of the lack of a clear religious position on the issue.

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