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Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists strongly opposes proposed repeal of the ban on FGM in The Gambia

2 Apr 2024

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists strongly opposes all forms of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and condemns the proposed repeal of the ban on FGM in The Gambia. The consideration of such a bill by the Gambian National Assembly poses a grave threat to girls and women in the country.

FGM is a fundamental violation of the rights of women and girls, including the human right to physical, sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing, and is a form of gender-specific discrimination related to the historical suppression and subjugation of women and girls. The World Health Organization unequivocally states that FGM has no health benefits and can lead to severe medical complications, including excessive bleeding, urinary problems, psychological trauma, and even death.

We stand in solidarity with the brave advocates and organizations like Think Young Women (TYW) and NGO Action Aid, who have tirelessly fought against FGM in The Gambia for years. Their efforts to raise awareness, empower communities, and protect the rights of women and girls must be upheld and supported. FGM has been condemned by many other international and regional bodies, including the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the Organization of African Unity and the World Medical Association. 

We urge lawmakers in The Gambia to prioritise the protection of human rights and uphold their obligations under international conventions by retaining the ban on FGM. We call on the Gambian National Assembly to reject this dangerous bill and send a clear message that the rights of Gambian women and girls will not be compromised. The international community must stand in solidarity with the women and girls who continue to be at risk. Together, we must work tirelessly to ensure that every girl and woman has the right to live free from the fear and harm of FGM, and speak out against any attempts to roll back progress on ending FGM.

  • Policy and governance
  • Gynaecology