Gambia’s government wants to reverse a 1996 ban imposed on skin bleaching.
Former Gambian leader, Yahya Jammeh in 1996 imposed the ban which stopped the importation and sale of skin-bleaching creams.
But the current government is sponsoring a bill to repeal the 24- year-old law that prohibits importation, sale, possession and use of such creams.
According to the government the law is discriminatory against women and girls and doesn’t conform to the country’s constitution.
The Skin Bleaching (Prohibition) Repeal Bill, 2020 has been presented to parliament.
A debate on it will take place next month among lawmakers.
According to the government the ban “contravenes” Women’s Act 2010 and Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw).
It said “The skin bleaching prohibition law was found to be discriminatory against women and girls in The Gambia in furtherance of The Gambia’s international obligations and in line with the Constitution.”
Across Africa, skin lightening products have become popular but have been found as well to be harmful and has serious health problems.
But there is a general perception that men prefer women with light skins. Some men also use these creams.