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 FGM is now banned by law

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Momodou Posted - 28 Dec 2015 : 21:30:51
Gambian Parliament passed law to prohibit and criminalized FGM in the Gambia.

3 years, D50,000 or both
D10,000 for those who know and do not report.

FGM law creates a safer environment for girls and women against FGM
Well done for passing a law against FGM
FGM law promotes Human Rights of girls and women
Congratulations to all women and men in the struggle to end FGM
Thank you Mr. President for facilitating the legislation on FGM
Prevent FGM= Equals Promote SRHR

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Momodou Posted - 30 Dec 2015 : 13:43:47
Tough measures established for FGM violators
The Point: Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tough measures have been established for FGM violators following the passing of a bill to prohibit female circumcision by the National Assembly members on Monday.
The bill, tabled before deputies by the Vice President and Minister for Women’s Affairs, is entitled: An Act to amend the Women’s Act 2010 to prohibit female circumcision and for connected matters.

It states: “This Act may be cited as the Women’s (Amendment) Act, 2015. Act No 12 of 2010 referred to as the principal Act is amended as set out in this Act by inserting of section 32A, prohibiting female circumcision.

(1)A person shall not engage in female circumcision

(2)A person who engages in female circumcision commits an offence and liable on conviction -

(a)To imprisonment for a term of three years or a fine of fifty thousand dalasis or to both, and

(b) Where female circumcision causes death, to life imprisonment, in the process or after the process.

(3)Female circumcision includes:

(A)The excision of the prepuce with partial or total excision of the clitoris (clitoridectomy),

(B)The partial or total excision of the labia minora,

(C) The partial or total excision of the external genitalia (of the female minora and the labia minora), including stitching.

(D) The stitching with thorns, straw, thread or by other means in order to connect the excision of the labia and the cutting of the vagina and the introduction of corrosive substances or herbs into the vagina for the purpose of narrowing it.

(E)Symbolic practices that involve the nicking and pricking of the clitoris to release drops of blood, or

(F)Engaging in any form of female genital mutilation and/ or cutting.

4. Insertion of section 32B

The principal Act amended by inserting immediately after the new section 32A, the following new section-

32B. Accomplices to female circumcision

(1) A person who requests, incites or promotes female circumcision by providing tools or by any other means commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of three years or a fine of fifty thousand dalasis or to both.

(2) A person who knows that female circumcision is about to take place or has taken place, and fails, without good cause, to warn or inform, as the case may be, the proper authorities promptly, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of ten thousand dalasi.”

Objects and reasons

The Republic of The Gambia signed and ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (The Maputo Protocol). Under article 5 of the protocol, member states are under obligation to prohibit female genital mutilation and other practices that are harmful to women.

Thus the proposed amendment seeks to comply with the international obligation of The Gambia to prohibit the practice of female circumcision due to the proven harmfulness of the practice.
Momodou Posted - 30 Dec 2015 : 13:39:53
Bill banning FGM/C in the Gambia passed

By Sarjo Camara-Singateh
Foroyaa: December 29, 2015

The National Assembly yesterday passed a Bill banning the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting. The Vice President, Madam Isatou Njie-Saidy, who doubles as the Minister for Women Affairs introduced the Bill at the National Assembly.

The Bill amends the Women’s Act 2010 by criminalizing FGM. In short, a person who engages in female circumcision commits an offence and if found guilty of the act shall face imprisonment for 3 years or a fine of D50,000 or both. But where Female Circumcision causes dead, the penalty is life imprisonment. Accomplices of those engaged in the act

will face up to 3 years imprisonment or 50 thousand dalasi fine or both.

A person who knows that FGM is happening or about to happen and fails to report it is subject to a fine of D10,000.

In introducing the Bill under the watchful eyes of gender activists, Madam Njie-Saidy said all the stakeholders will engage in capacity building, targeting women, children, chiefs, civil society organisation, to name a few. She stated that WHO has condemned the medicalisation or para-medicalisation of FGM/C.

Responding to questions from the floor she said the issue of female circumcision is evidently harmful, it is associated with complications, and some women suffer from fistula as a result of female genital mutilation/cutting

She calls on development partners like UN agencies to consider supporting the move. Dr. Njie-Saidy said the Gambia has ratified and domesticated the CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women), and the Maputo Protocol (the Protocol on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ on the Rights of Women in Africa), both have criminalized and prohibited FGM.

Seconding the motion, Hon. Fatou Mbye, the Deputy Speaker said this bill is one of the most progressive bills presented in this Assembly.

She said FGM/C is a deep rooted culture that has no health benefit for women. She stated that culture and tradition are not stagnant; Mrs. Mbye said anything done in the name of culture must be beautiful. She said the act violates the human rights of women and girls, “the practice is not beautiful and is not meaningful to us”.

Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, Majority Leader of the National Assembly and Member for Serekunda East, stated that parliament is not against the prohibition and criminalizing the FGM/C, the assembly is only against the approach to abolish FGM. He stated that after he went through the Children’s Act 2005 and Women’s Act 2015, he knew that they fell short of criminalizing and prohibiting FGM.

Not all members supported the Bill. Speakers opposed to the bill include Hon. Samba Jallow, Minority Leader and Member for Niamina Dankunku. He said if FGM is abolished in the Gambia Teenage pregnancy and baby dumping will be the order of the day. He stated that if a woman is not circumcised one will not be comfortable to associate with the circumcised ones.

Buba Ayi Sanneh, Member for Kombo Central, noted that FGM is the Prophet’s sunnah and he will not be part of people who will ban the sunnah of the prophet. He stated that Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy should explain to him why she chose to say FGM should be banned.

A detailed report on the contributions of members will be published in subsequent editions.
Momodou Posted - 29 Dec 2015 : 12:12:06
FGM bill passed

The Point: Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Members of the National Assembly yesterday passed the Women’s Amendment Act 2010 bill to prohibit female circumcision and matters connected therein.
The bill was presented before the National Assembly members by the Vice President and Minister for Women Affairs, Isatou Njie-Saidy.

The Women’s Act, according to the Vice President, referred to as the Principal Act was amended, by inserting immediately after section 32 the following new section: Section32A “prohibition of female circumcision”: A person shall not engage in female circumcision, and a person who engages in female circumcision commits an offence and liable for a conviction.”

Hon. Abdoulie Saine, member for Banjul Central, thanked the Vice President for tabling the bill before deputies, noting that the bill was very important and urged his colleagues to adopt the bill.

Before enacting the bill, FGM was happening and now the President had changed it because it is a harmful thing and he did not want anything that would harm human beings, Saine said.

Hon. Badou Gaye Sonko, nominated member, also thanked the Vice President, adding that FGM had been a longstanding issue.

He told deputies that before the declaration of the ban many people did not know whether it was a harmful thing.

Though the bill had been adopted by deputies, it was the responsibility of the National Assembly and civil society to sensitise the people about its harmful nature, he added.

Local Government Amendment Act Bill 2015

Meanwhile, in the same session, NAMs adopted the Local Government Act Amendment Bill 2015 presented by the Minister for Lands and Regional Government, Momodou Aki Bayo.

Presenting the bill before deputies, Bayo said the bill would promote government programmes at the regional level, implementation of development programmes and activities, as well as to foster peace-building and conflict resolution at regional level.

Minister Bayo further informed deputies that the bill would also provide an avenue where governors and mayors could share relevant information and best practices in the execution of their functions.

With regard to alkalolou, the benefits and advantages are to promote peace, security and stability and settle disputes and to safeguard the traditions, customs and cultural norms and values, as well as protecting the environment, he said.

For the National Council of Elders, he added, the benefits and advantages are that they are to be advisers to governors, seyfololus and alkalolou, as well as ensure set-setal at the local level.

As for the Local Government Service Commission, the benefits and advantages are that it would provide a unified local government service commission which would ensure efficient recruitment, and promotion of staff.

For the Municipalities and Area Councils, it would empower the municipal and area council police for more responsiveness in the maintenance of peace and security in their respective communities, and enhance effective local government administration.

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