National Parliamentary Workshop: “Engaging Parliament towards Ending Female Genital Mutilation”

Banjul, The Gambia, 29 October 2009

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP) organised a National parliamentary Workshop “Engaging Parliament towards Ending Female Genital Mutilation”, in Banjul, on 29 October 2009, bringing together Members of the Parliament of The Gambia with representatives from the judiciary, civil society, including traditional Chiefs and women leaders whose communities have been actively engaged in the campaign against FGM, and relevant government ministries to mobilize political and parliamentary will towards the development of legislation banning FGM.
The workshop aimed to provide the opportunity to share strategies and best practices to fight against FGM, with the objective of working towards a law prohibiting the practice of FGM in The Gambia and promoting the passing of the Women’s Bill. The Constitution of the Gambia has given formal equality to women and the country has signed various treaties that have relevant provisions and commitments to promote women’s rights. Thus the environment is positive for reform of laws or enactment of new laws to protect women and girl-children from harmful traditional practices that violate their fundamental human rights.

The workshop falls within the No Peace Without Justice project Parliamentary engagement in the West Africa sub-region towards ending female genital mutilation. This project aims to promote acceleration of the elimination of FGM through policy dialogue to stimulate political commitment within institutions and among decision makers, political, community and opinion leaders able to influence policy-making and legislation, fostering trans-national and regional cooperation and coordination, and promoting policy-making and legislation as positive and lasting tools for positive social change.
NPWJ, which has conducted campaigns aimed at the elimination of FGM for several years, largely in Africa, considers that clear and unambiguous national legislation is essential to consolidate an explicit commitment of the State against FGM, and can also provide the legal tools to legitimize and facilitate the work of anti-FGM activists and women’s rights groups, and protect women and girls willing to challenge the social convention by refusing to undergo FGM, contributing to turning the tide of social norms.


For more information, contact Alvilda Jablonko, Coordinator of the FGM Program, on / phone: +32 494 533 915.