Every other little girl you see in The Gambia has had female genital mutilation, according to the statement

Date:

Every other little girl you see in The Gambia has had female genital mutilation, according to the statement

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Sunday, March 12, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • In The Gambia, the prevalence of FGM is roughly 76% among people aged 14 to 49 and 51% among girls under 14.

  • Ndeye Rose Sarr: FGM has been forbidden as of 2015.

  • By Rose Ndeye Sarr Although there is a problem with period poverty across The Gambia, it is most severe in rural areas where women are less likely to access sanitary pads.

  • So, we created an initiative to make recycled sanitary pads in Basse, in the Upper River Area.

  • We need to be aware that there are girls around the globe who do not have access to period products or menstrual health and hygiene when they menstruate.

Rose Ndeye Sarr The issues typically begin when a girl begins to menstruate. She starts to be considered a potential wife for an older man when she is 10. And if she hasn’t had FGM yet, some people in her community will want to ensure she gets it.

In The Gambia, the prevalence of FGM is roughly 76% among people aged 14 to 49 and 51% among girls under 14. This indicates that, on average, every other young girl you encounter in The Gambia has had mutilation, which entails changing the genitalia by chopping off the clitoris or labia.

Later health problems result from this. They risk having problems during labour, and stillbirths are more likely. Obstetric fistula, holes that form between the vagina and the bladder, which force women to urinate when they sit, may occur if the baby survives. This may cause their husbands to leave them and cause women to be marginalised in their societies.

“Women are the ones who do FGM,”

FGM is more frequently performed on women. The family tradition’s custodian is typically a grandma. Even Gambian expatriates will bring their children home to undergo FGM. Men will also claim that this is “a woman’s thing.”

Engaging men and boys is what we’re aiming for. In our society, men make the decisions; they are the spouses, traditional leaders, and religious figures who will tell the rest of us what to do and what not to do.

We want every young male in this country, every man, to reject the practice, regardless of whether they are fathers, husbands, or respected members of their communities. According to studies, rates have decreased in nations where males have been more active.

Ndeye Rose Sarr: FGM has been forbidden as of 2015. Only two cases have since been prosecuted, and none have resulted in convictions.

Laws must be upheld and enforced. And it’s crucial that the government be prepared to keep bringing cases and work with us to raise awareness of the issue.

We also need to get involved locally. Girls’ rites of passage are significant, but we don’t need to go as far as female genital mutilation. Just as it is for boys in this region of the world, we might devise creative ways to establish rites of passage. It is unnecessary to be damaging or interfere with the individual’s right to bodily privacy.

You cannot convince me that a baby girl understands what she is going through and can consent when it is currently done on babies.

By Rose Ndeye Sarr Although there is a problem with period poverty across The Gambia, it is most severe in rural areas where women are less likely to access sanitary pads.

Since they lack access to sufficient menstrual supplies and worry about staining their clothes and being stigmatised, girls who experience period poverty miss between 40 and 50 days of school each year, which equates to around five days each month.

Males will benefit because they attend school more frequently than girls, who are likelier to leave school early.

So, we created an initiative to make recycled sanitary pads in Basse, in the Upper River Area. Young women in the neighbourhood are empowered by having stable jobs, gaining new skills, and enhancing girls’ and women’s menstrual hygiene.

To ensure that the girls are more aware of their bodies, what is occurring to them, what is okay, and what is not, we visit schools to distribute the pads and use the time to discuss bodily autonomy and complete health education. I believe we are affecting Basse for the better.

We need to be aware that there are girls around the globe who do not have access to period products or menstrual health and hygiene when they menstruate. And that needs to stop, too.

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