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Outlawed Female Genital Mutilation banned in Gambia

The country’s parliament passed a bill criminalizing FGM, which usually involves the removal of a young girl’s labia and clitoris.

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Gambia has banned the female genital mutilation (FGM) and set penalties of up to life in prison for offenders of the new law. The country’s parliament passed a bill criminalizing FGM, which usually involves the removal of a young girl’s labia and clitoris, on Dec. 28th, a month after president Yahya Jammeh promised to end the practice, which causes lifelong health complications.

Those who break the law face fines of 50,000 delasi ($1,250) or three years in prisons. Offenders who cause death by FGM could face life sentences. The bill makes Gambia, a small West African country of about 1.8 million people, the 27th sub-Saharan African country to legislate against FGM. As much as 80% of Gambian women had been cut as of 2010.

Motivations for female genital cutting are complex and difficult to change but more African states are launching official bans. Nigeria outlawed FGM last year. Somalia, where female cutting rates are the highest, has said it would also like to stop the practice.

Data from UNICEF indicates that as much as 98 per cent of women in Somalia have been cut.

Uganda is however the least country, with only one per cent of its women being cut.

Find below the percentage of women and girls cut in Africa.

Prevalence of female genital cutting in Africa

Source: qz.com

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