Dear Mr President,
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to express my concern about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in The Gambia and I urge your government to take further action to eliminate this harmful practice for an improved society.
I commend your administration’s commitment to human and women’s rights, as shown by The Gambia’s ratification of international agreements aimed at eliminating violence and discrimination against women. However, FGM remains a significant challenge that has been recognized as a human rights violation and a breach of the right to physical integrity and freedom from discrimination and violence.
The last time I checked FGM violates fundamental human rights, perpetuates gender inequality, and undermines efforts to achieve sustainable development and gender equality in our nation. The physical and emotional suffering that those subjected to FGM endure is a stark reminder of the urgent need to address this issue comprehensively.
I respectfully urge your government to enforce existing laws and regulations that criminalize FGM and hold perpetrators accountable. Implement comprehensive awareness campaigns and educational programs to inform communities about the health risks and human rights violations associated with FGM. Promote alternative initiation ceremonies that do not involve cutting. Engage with community leaders, religious leaders, and elders to seek their support in eliminating FGM and encourage the abandonment of the practice. Ensure that girls and women who have undergone FGM have access to appropriate medical and psychological care, as well as support for survivors. Collect and analyze data on the prevalence and impact of FGM in The Gambia to inform evidence-based policies and interventions. Collaborate with international organizations and neighbouring countries to address cross-border issues related to FGM.
Mr President, by taking these steps, The Gambia can demonstrate its commitment to the well-being and rights of girls and women and contribute to the global effort to eradicate FGM. I believe that your leadership and dedication to human rights can make a significant difference in addressing this critical issue.
While I thank you for your attention to this matter, please accept the assurance of my consideration I look forward to seeing progress in the fight against FGM in The Gambia and stand ready to support your efforts in any way possible.
Saidina Alieu Jarjou