National consultation in Gambia to foster the adoption of a law banning Female Genital Mutilation

21 May, 2015 | Press Releases

Kaira Konko, Jarra Soma, Gambia, 21 May 2015

On 21 May 2015, GAMCOTRAP, in partnership with No Peace Without Justice and the Inter-African Committee for Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children  (IAC), and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, convened a national consultation in Gambia to review the situation of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the country and to foster the adoption of specific legislation banning the practice, as called for by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 69/150.

The event, which was held in Kaira Konko, Soma in the Lower River Region, saw the participation of over a hundred delegates including District Chiefs, National Women Councilors and other women leaders, NGO representatives, Traditional Communicators and members of the media. The consultation was also attended by four members of the National Assembly from the Lower River Region as well as the Governors of the Central River Region and the Lower River Region.

The consultation took the form of a review of the policy commitments of the Gambian Government based on international and regional commitments (including the National Gender Policy and Women Empowerment 2010-2020) and efforts made so far by NGOs such as GAMCOTRAP to raise awareness about the harmful effects of FGM on the rights of women and girls and their sexual and reproductive health in order to foster the mobilisation of communities to end this human rights violation.

Through the four “Dropping of the Knives” celebrations held in the Gambia between 2007 and 2013, 128 FGM practitioners and 900 communities publicly demonstrated their willingness to protect children and girls and end FGM. However, the absence of a specific legislation prohibiting FGM contributes to the perception that it is “acceptable” and weakens the legitimacy and impact of these efforts and gains. It also undermines the commitments made by the State to promote and protect women’s rights.

The Kaira Konko Consultation concluded with the adoption of a final communiqué calling on the members of the National Assembly to listen to the voices of the communities and to take action by adopting a law banning FGM by the end of 2015.


For more information, contact Alvilda Jablonko, Coordinator of the Gender and Human Rights Program, on, phone: +32 494 533 915+32 494 533 915 or Nicola Giovannini, email:, phone:+32 2 548 39 15+32 2 548 39 15.