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Gambian parliament debates bill to reverse ban on female genital mutilation

Gambian parliament debates bill to reverse ban on female genital mutilation

GAMBIAN lawmakers debated whether to repeal a ban on female genital mutilation, which has been on the rise in recent years despite activist campaigns to end the practice. The small West African nation imposed steep fines and jail sentences in 2015 for those who carry out female circumcision, known by the acronym FGM. The World Health Organization says the practice has no health benefits and can lead to excessive bleeding, shock, psychological problems and even death. Lawmaker Almameh Gibba presented the repeal bill earlier this month, arguing the ban violates citizens' rights to practice their culture and religion. Gambia is…
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Gambian parliament to discuss bill to decriminalise female genital mutilation

Gambian parliament to discuss bill to decriminalise female genital mutilation

A bill seeking to repeal Gambia's ban on female genital mutilation (FGM) was presented in the West African country's parliament and will be discussed by lawmakers later this month. Former president Yahya Jammeh banned the practice in 2015 and introduced steep fines and jail sentences for perpetrators. However, many Gambians still believe that FGM is a requirement of Islam and the bill -- introduced by lawmaker Almameh Gibba -- argues that the current ban violates citizens' rights to practice their culture and religion. The bill has divided public opinion. Anti-FGM advocates point to the harmful physical and psychological effects of…
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