REPORT OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE WOMEN’S (AMENDMENT) BILL RELATING FEMALE CIRCUMCISION ADOPTED

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Those Gambians who had followed the process of law making in the National Assembly after the 2016 change would appreciate that the process does not have to be confrontational as is happening in many parts of the world.

Section 112 of the Constitution stipulates that a National Assembly member should put national interest before personal and partisan interests in all their undertakings at the National Assembly.

When the Bill first appeared, the whole world focused on The Gambia and some Gambians started attacking each other. Foroyaa took the higher ground to explain that more insight should be acquired by all sides to prevent the wrong decision from being taken. A supplement entitled “The Debate on Banning or Unbanning FGM/C” was produced to give a clear perspective that is yet to be contradicted in writing by any other source.

The joint committee also invited subject matter specialists and others in order to obtain substantial facts to build a report. There is no doubt that this process of law making if done in good faith would lead to the making of laws that would serve the public interest. All Gambians have spoken and the country has solved its own challenges by relying on the collective intelligence of its citizens.

The Bill has to go through the consideration stage and the third reading before being passed or rejected. It is however very clear that the debate around the Bill has been very enlightening and Foroyaa strongly recommends to the 17 members who rejected the report to read “Debate on the Banning or Unbanning of FGM/C” and write to Foroyaa on what they disagree with. The Foroyaa supplement concluded on the same note that the National Assembly vote arrived at in yesterday’s proceedings.