According to UNICEF Report, 130 million girls and women across Africa and the middle East are victims of Female Genital Mutilation. FGM is one of the unnecessary evils that Africa is finally rising up against. It is claimed that the act is carried out to curb the promiscuity of the female gender and promoting a more socially saner environment when in actual sense, medicine has proven that it is not so. Records show that the hideous act has done more harm than good to the female gender, making her prone to severe health risks- prolonged labor, increased perinatal morbidity and mortality rate of both mothers and newborns; incessant urinary tract infections, infertility amongst others.
Late last year, Gambian legislators saw the need to officially put a ban on the practice of FGM- seeing it for the real evil that it is. President Yahya Jammeh has made this a law in the bid to protect the health interest of the young girls, since they are the victims of the act. As a new law in Gambia, any culprit found perpetuating this act is subject to 3 years imprisonment, a fine of $1,250; and life imprisonment in the case of loss of life.
Sadly in some rural parts of Africa- Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and some parts of Sudan, this baseless and degrading act is still breathing and strongly at that. Traditionally, it is done as a transitional rite to adulthood but from the medical perspective it has a zero worth and could at most cause the death and health deterioration of the female gender; which from the human rights perspective also, is viewed as a form of female gender discrimination.
It is indeed a relief to know that African countries are gradually but increasingly rising up to say no to this barbaric act. Gambia makes it the 20th African country to ban female circumcision. To fully see reasons with Gambian Law makers, see also: Top 10 Reasons Why Female Genital Mutilation In Africa Is Evil