Tue, 16 Aug 2022

BANJUL, June 15 (Xinhua) -- As part of the day marking the Day of African Child, United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Banjul office has released a statement on Wednesday to applaud The Gambia for registering significant drops in female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage.

The UNICEF Representative in The Gambia, Gordon Jonathan Lewis, attributed the success to the efforts of the activists, faith-based leaders, community mobilizing, policy makers and the children and young people driving change in the country.

"Thanks to these and other efforts, the country has registered some strides in reducing some of these practices. For example, FGM among girls aged 0-14 years old dropped from 56 percent in 2010 to 51 percent in 2018. Impressively, about half of women in The Gambia now openly disapprove of FGM. Similarly, child marriage also dropped from 47 percent in 2010 to 34 percent in 2018," Lewis said in the statement.

However, he warned that it may not be a victory for the girls if efforts to galvanize and mobilize policymakers, influencers, communities, children and young people fail to step up further.

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