President of the West African nation of Gambia, President Yahya Jammeh, has banned the practise of female genital mutilation (FGM).
The president announced on Monday that FGM would be outlawed in the country; however, he has yet to specify when legislation will be drafted to formalise the ban.
In responding to the president’s announcement, FGM program manager of Equity Now who have been advocating against female genital mutilation for over 20 years said in a statement to Huffington Post that the government must now show a strong commitment to ending the brutal practise. She said three quarters of women in the country have been affected by FGM and reducing the statistics has been slow.
FGM involves the total removal of external female genitalia where victims experience a host of health risks, which include heavy bleeding, developing sepsis, urinary tract infections, cysts and victims are known to become infertile, among other health risks. This is according to the World Health Organisation.
About 76 per cent of Gambian women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation.