Gambia: NPWJ and NRPTT welcome the proclamation of a ban on FGM by President Jammeh and urge the National Assembly to adopt specific legislation by the end of 2015

BRUSSELS-ROME: On Monday 23 November 2015, President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia  declared a ban on female genital mutilation (FGM). The public proclamation was made during the latest stop in his yearly Meet the People’s Tour in his home village of Kanilai.

Tomorrow, on the occasion of the International Day to Combat Violence Against Women, our long-standing partner, the Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP) together with the Chiefs and people of Niamina East, West and Dankunku districts is publicly celebrating the decision by 30 FGM practitioners from 115 communities to stop committing FGM. Through the four previous “Dropping of the Knives” celebrations held in the Gambia between 2007 and 2013, 128 FGM practitioners and 900 communities have already publicly demonstrated their willingness to protect girls and end this human rights violation.

Statement by Alvilda Jablonko, Director for Gender and Human Rights, No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) welcome the public proclamation of a ban on female genital mutilation (FGM) by President Yahya Jammeh which demonstrates the political commitment at the highest level to tackle FGM and protect the rights of women and girls in the Gambia.

“This public proclamation echoes the voices of the numerous communities which over the past eight years have publicly demonstrated their willingness to end FGM. It also reinforces the legitimacy and impact of the advocacy and awareness efforts carried out by civil society groups such as GAMCOTRAP under the tireless leadership of its president, Isatou Touray, to bring an end to this human rights violation.

“We stand side by side with Gambian activists in urging all members of the National Assembly to take action following President Jammeh’s declaration and adopt specific legislation criminalising FGM before the end of this year. As called for by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 69/150, ‘enacting and enforcing legislation to prohibit FGM and to protect women and girls from this form of violence, and to hold perpetrators to account’ are fundamental and crucial factors to successfully combat this form of gender-based violence, promote its elimination and protect its victims”.

http://www.npwj.org/node/11440

For more information, contact Alvilda Jablonko, Director for Gender and Human Rights, on ajablonko@npwj.org, phone: +32 494 533 915 or Nicola Giovannini, email: ngiovannini@npwj.org , phone: +32 2 548 39 15.

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