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Africa Live: Gambia moves one step closer to reversal of FGM ban - BBC News Africa Live: Gambia moves one step closer to FGM ban reversal - BBC News
(32 minutes later)
Esther Ogola That's all from BBC Africa Live for now.
BBC News We're back on Wednesday, but until then there'll be an automated service here, plus you can get the latest news on our website or listen to our podcasts - Africa Daily and Focus on Africa.
A bill seeking to decriminalise Our African proverb of the day:
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in The Gambia has passed its latest parliamentary stage, known as the second reading. When the black ant bites the buttocks, the buttocks learn a lesson."
Though FGM was criminalised in The Gambia in 2015, some seeking to overturn the ban argue that it violates religious freedom and is against the country's cultural practices. Click here to send us your African proverbs.
The bill will now go to a committee of MPs for further consideration. And we leave you with this picture of the Cape Epic MTB race currently taking pace in South Africa:
Survivors of FGM and activists
had hoped it would be thrown out. They said that not only did the practice cause lifelong damage but it was also against a woman's right to bodily autonomy.
They have also argued that removing the ban on FGM would tarnish The Gambia’s human rights record.
There was a heated debate in parliament but in the end 42 members voted for the bill, four voted against, while one abstained.
Despite the ban being in place since 2015 it was not until convictions in 2023, when several women were jailed
for performing FGM, did calls to reverse the ban gain momentum.
According to a recent survey, 73% of women in The Gambia have undergone FGM
with 65% of those cut being under the age of five.
If the bill is passed, The Gambia
would be the first country to have reversed a ban on FGM.
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