Panafrican News Agency

Gambia: ‘FGM is older than Islam and Christianity’, says Kinteh

Banjul, Gambia (PANA)   -  Gambian Minister of Women, Children and Social Welfare Mrs. Fatou Kinteh said here Thursday the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) was older than any religion, especially ‘Islam and Christianity’. 

She made the statement at a press conference here to mark the commemoration of International Day of Zero Tolerance Against Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting  (FGM/C).

She pointed out that the practice of FGM, which had a deep link to the cultural values of many traditions in the country, could only be considered as a traditional practice, stressing that it could not be linked to any religious concept.

“Sometimes, there is misconception that FGM/C is a religious practice; what we know is that the practice of female genital mutilation is older than both Christianity and Islamic belief.

“FGM is not a religious belief because all of us know there are Muslims in the Gambia who do not practice FGM and other part of Africa,” she said.

She  also noted that, over the years, the government, together with its partners, had registered a success in  reduction on the harmful practice of female genital mutilation across the country.

The minister said more work would be carried out by the government and partners in ensuring that there was total elimination of FGM in the country.

“We were able to achieve success in reducing the number of FGM/C practice in communities in 2009 with   95% reduction on the practice was registered, in 2013 it goes down to 75% with a reduction of 53% in 2018. So the figures has shown how active and ready we are in ending the harmful practice,” she said.


-0-     PANA     MSS/RA   6Feb2020