NA Joint Committee to Lay Report on Women’s (Amendment) Bill, 2024

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The National Assembly Joint Committee on Health and Gender is scheduled to lay its report on the Women’s (Amendment) Bill 2024, relating to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). 

According to the Committee, the report will feature the views and position papers submitted to the joint committee by stakeholders during consultations with those stakeholders seeking to repeal the provision dealing with FGM/C. The laying of this and other reports are outlined in the approved agenda of the Second Ordinary Session scheduled to commence on Monday 24th June to 24th July 2024, by the Office of the Clerk.

“On Thursday 4, July 2024, the National Assembly Joint Committee on Health and Gender is scheduled to lay its report on the Women’s (Amendment) Bill 2024, in line with Standing Order 61 (2),” the Clerk’s Office indicated. 

The Clerk’s Office also indicated that on the same date, members of the National Assembly are also expected to witness the laying of reports by the Select Committee on the Monitoring and Implementation of Government projects on Gambia Public Buildings and Facilities Authority Bill, 2022; report on the National Assembly Select Committee on Health, Children, Refugees and Humanitarian Relief on the Nutrition Bill, 2023; and a report of the National Assembly Joint Committee of Health and Gender on the National Social Protection Bill, 2023. 

The reports are scheduled to be laid by their respective Committee Chairpersons after which lawmakers are expected to take turns with their interventions on the reports, as stipulated in Standing Order 61 (2). 

The bill seeking to repeal the provision on FGM/C was introduced in the legislature during the First Ordinary Session of the 2024 Legislative year by the Member for Foni Kansala Constituency, Hon. Alimameh Gibba. 

After its introduction, the bill triggered wide reactions from the general public as some advocates for the provision to be repealed, whilst others want the provision to remain in the law books of the country.

Due to its complex nature, the Assembly referred the bill to the Assembly’s Business Committee for committal to either relevant committees or committees of action.

The joint committee in the execution of the task assigned to them, engaged stakeholders to gain their version including medical experts.

After the completion of their engagements with the stakeholders, the Committee will now prepare a report of their findings which is composed of the views of stakeholders engaged during consultations on the bill, which report is now scheduled to be laid before the plenary on Thursday 4th July 2024.