Stakeholders call for abandonment of FGM.

By Halimatou Ceesay

Gambia’s Islamic Scholar Ousman Jah, has said that girls should not be circumcise base on pain. Mr. Jah made this remark yesterday at Paradise Suites Hotel during a consultation on Islam, family well-being and traditional practices on the abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation FGM.

“If prophet does not consider it as an obligation then is something we can chose to do or not to do.”

“The Prophet does not forced anyone to do it, as it is not obligatory on anyone, as far as this is concern, I think it’s better to abandon the practice” he said.

Fatou Camara from the health ministry said due to FGM complications, it is sometimes hard for some women to deliver naturally. “As such we usually refer them for surgery in order to give them support to safely give birth”.

In some cases she disclosed babies end up dying due to prolong labour. “The clitoris that are mutilated have purposes so we should leave it as it is.”

Aja Babung Sidibeh an Ex-Circumciser said she dropped her knife due to a bad experience she had after circumcising two girls who got sick. “After this I decided to stop performing it and advised other in my community to stop too”. I contributed to the pain and suffering of the women I circumcised”, she admits.

The practice she affirmed is sometime carried out due to the persuasion from some men, who prefers marrying circumcise women. “You asked us to get ourselves, our daughters and granddaughters circumcised and preserved ourselves and we did that, yet you leave us and get married to uncircumcised women whom you think are more enjoyable than us. Free us and tell us to hold onto one thing.”

Fatou Keita Lady Councilor appeal to men to join forces with women and end FGM. She said they are now aware of the complications of FGM. “If our women are healthy, will enable us to move forward”.

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