Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been banned in The Gambia, President Yahya Jammeh announced last night.
The President said that FGM will be outlawed in The Gambia and that the ban would come into effect immediately.
FGM affects around three-quarters of girls and women in The Gambia, with 100 million women worldwide known to have had the procedure carried out, according to The Guardian.
The practice of FGM is widespread across African countries, where 76% of females and 56% of girls under the age of 14 have had the procedure.
The Gambia now joins other countries in outlawing FGM including: Egypt, Nigeria, Central African Republic and South Africa.
Somalia currently has the highest presence of FGM in the world.
SafeHands for Mothers, a charity that aims to make pregnancy and childbirth safer for women, has been campaigning to put an end to FGM with their campaign ‘Now you know, say no to FGM’.
Founder of SafeHands for Mothers, Nancy Durrell McKenna said: “Until men stand up and SAY NO TO FGM, this harmful practice will continue. President Yahya Jammeh from the Gambia, stood up”.
Earlier this year, The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists published guidance for midwives on how to provide support and care to women who have had the procedure.
Midwives and other health care professionals are required to record any cases of FGM to help women who have been affected by it.
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