President Yahya Jammeh, the President of Gambia, is set to ban the practice of genital mutilation in the country.
He was quoted to have said that he could not find any religious justification for female circumcision.
“For 21 years, I have been researching from the Quran and consulting religious leaders whether female circumcision is mentioned in the Quran, but I did not find it there,” he said, according to an article in the pro-government Daily Observer newspaper.
In March, Gambian lawmakers rejected a ban on female genital mutilation, claiming Gambians “were not ready,”.
The practice which is carried out in more than half of the total number of countries in Africa, is known to be generating interest across the continent for cancelation from activists. It entails the complete or partial removal of the external genitalia of women and girls for nonmedical reasons.
In 2010, female genital mutilation was carried out on nearly 80 percent of Gambian women and girls aged 15 to 49, according to a report from UK-based charity 28 Too Many.
The Gambia President, Jammeh came to power in a 1994 military coup and is often criticized for human rights abuses, including the torture of opponents and the persecution of gays and lesbians.
Women rights activists described his remarks on female genital mutilation as a welcome development and an absolutely surprising comment from him.