Gambian VP says FGM not Islamic

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) Gambian Vice President Aja Fatoumata Tambajang Jallow, has told an international forum on female genital mutilation (FGM) in Banjul that the practice was not Islamic.

The vice president said she came to this conclusion after conducting some research on the practice.

The vice president made the statement Tuesday at a forum that commemorated the International Day of Zero Tolerance on FGM/C, organised by Wassu Kafo (group).

According to her, at the communities’ level, “we are told it’s a religious issue and that it’s a no go area.

"It is not Islamic or Sunnah as is being claimed by many," the vice president said.

Tambajang added that Gambia’s struggle to end FGM has spanned many decades, fronted by many leaders, including the women’s bureau and herself.

She said they interpreted discrimination of all types of violence against women down to FGM, adding that the strategies they were using were not the right approaches and at some point, she realized they had to change their strategies by engaging the communities.

According to her, there still remains a challenge of lack of enforcement of the laws which she said can be disturbed by lack of resources and “yet still mothers embark on it to prepare their daughters for marriage but it violates their rights.”

She said the prevalence of the practice is 75 per cent, according to Unicef statistics, and “it is more practised in the rural Gambia than the urban areas.”
-0- PANA MSS/VAO 7Feb2018

07 février 2018 14:52:43

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