Gambia votes to repeal its ban on FGM

Gambia’s parliament voted Monday to repeal its ban on female genital mutilation (FGM).

News Center- Gambia has taken steps towards repealing a 2015 ban on female genital mutilation (FGM), a move that could make it the first country in the world to reverse legal protections against the practice for millions of women and girls.

On Monday, Gambia’s lawmakers voted 42 to four to send the bill to a committee before returning it to parliament for a third reading.

FGM was outlawed in Gambia in 2015 under former president Yahya Jammeh who oversaw the imposition of fines and prison sentences of up to three years for individuals who engaged in the practice. The law also punished perpetrators with life imprisonment in instances where the practice led to death.

Before the voting, a number of women and men gathered in front of Parliament to protest the bill while some supported the bill. According to human rights experts, lawyers and women's rights activists, if Gambia repeals its ban on FGM, it will significantly harm many years of efforts to end the practice.