Women in STEM Calls for Strict Enforcement of Laws Against FGM

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Amidst recent suggestions in parliament to repeal the law that prohibits the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the Gambia Women in STEM joined other anti-FGM activists to condemn the practice of the act. They called for strict enforcement of laws that prohibit the practice of female genital mutilation.

“We urge strict enforcement of laws which prohibit the practice and recommend engagement with community leaders to educate them on the risks of the practice as well as provision of medical and psychological care for girls and women who are victims,” the Women in STEM Initiative recommends.

They argued that FGM is a harmful procedure and that gynecologists are confronted daily with the physical and psychological consequences of such practices on women.

Dr. Dado Jabbi, an obstetrician and gynecologist, joined hundreds of women to end FGM in the country. She narrated how women who sought their services at the point of marriage due to type three FGM affect their sexual lives.

“As a gynecologist, I have seen firsthand a lot of women who seek our services at the point of marriage due to type 3 FGM affecting their sexual lives, leaving them battling with very bad Post Traumatic Stress Disorders. As an obstetrician, I have seen devastating effects of FGM, like severe perineal tears because scarred tissue does not stretch, leading to excessive blood loss and severe complications for the woman.

“FGM leaves physical, emotional, and psychological scars on women. Let’s unite, save our girls from FGM, and protect them against harmful cultural practices.

“Today, I share images as evidence for all of us to understand the extent of the pain.” Dr. Dado Jabbi narrated.

In the past two weeks, the issue of criminalizing or legalizing the practice of FGM became a center of discussion, with the National Assembly Members calling for repealing the law that criminalizes the practice of FGM.

The practice of FGM became illegal in the Gambia in 2015 during the tenure of former President Yahya Jammeh. However, Islamic clerics and parliamentarians have now called for removing the law and making the practice of FGM a choice.

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