8th February 2024
The Malick Jallow Foundation for Children (MJFC) joins the rest of the world in marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) earmarked for the 6th February of each year.
According to the United Nations, the aim of this day is to amplify and direct the efforts of the elimination of this practice. According to the UN: “over the last three decades, the prevalence of FGM has declined globally. Today, a girl is one- third less likely to undergo FGM than 30 years ago.“
Further, “more than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone Female Genital Mutilation. This year, nearly 4.4 million girls will be at risk of this harmful practice. This equates to more than 12,000 cases everyday.“
Back home in The Gambia, it is pertinent to note that great strides have been made in recent times with respect to the strengthening of the legal framework for eradication for elimination of FGM /C as well as strengthening the mechanisms for accountability with respect to perpetrators of this practice.
The MJFC remains pleased to have played a frontline role in restructuring and closing the legislative gaps in the laws governing the elimination of FGM/C in The Gambia through its founder Barrister Malick H.B Jallow Esq that culiminated into the passing of the law banning FGM/C in The Gambia.
It is also pertinent to acknowledge the efforts of the law enforcement agencies as well as the Judicial officers in ensuring timely and effective investigation and prosecution of individuals who engage in this practice contrary to the law.
Despite all these strides, it is however important to note that we still have a lot to do especially in the area of sensitization and winning hearts and minds to emphatically inform a populace who have almost been hoodwinkd into to believing that this practice is beneficial to their well-being, to understand that all established and credible research and findings tilt towards the fact that FGM/C is a harmful practice and its long term effects on the health and well-being of the individuals who undergo this practice is quite far reaching.