A 24-year-old Law Attracting 5,000 Dalasis Fine -Gambia, A Country Whose Government Wants to Legalize Skin-Bleaching

Manufactured out of the country’s shores, bleach bottles are sold aplenty in adornment boutiques.

Coming in varying sizes which determines the price peg, the cream, sporting a light-skinned woman flaunting her looks on its cover, a hawking strategy to hook buyers, the product is now displayed openly.

This is largely attributed to change of government. Former president Jammeh, his heavy-handed method of rule aside, passed a decree prohibiting Gambian women from use of the lightening product.

Happening barely two years after he’d come to power via a bloodless coup, those who witnessed the legislation’s passing, more so pundits, held the view that it was the erstwhile military man’s way of winning over public support using religion to sway favours.

The decree worked magic but those applying it found the attached D5,000 fine to it daunting.

The product would still be hawked but clandestinely with a huge plummet in buyers or sellers owing to the glaring ramifications.

It’s been twenty four years with the law still in place but the restriction has loosen to extents bottles are advertised at shops openly.

The product’s demand soars at approach of the cold weather between November and March used by both genders but to a larger degree females, Barham Ndiaye says.

A dealer in accessories and creams, Barham, seated on an upholstered chair and leaning wearily on his shop’s counter, confirms lightening products are lot expensive hinging massively on the quality.

Photo: Bleaching was considered a big deal under Jammeh’s 22 year rule

“It’s better than before. We sell them out openly now because of the change of government and women buy it around November and March. Most are into it because some men prefer fair ladies and the black ones feel left out and resort to this. But there are still some fair ladies who still apply it to enhance their colour more,” 27-year-old Barham said.

Maimuna Fatty partly agrees with Barham but insists creaming, sobriquet, Hessal in local parlance, is applied by women sometimes to deceive men into believing they’re fair-complexioned but certainly, it shows in the end with the visible hallmark stretches.

“Some men do not identify this but the observant ones definitely do,” she said.

Data of users is almost impossible to keep track of with rarely any documentations done, however, the product’s demand remains on the surge.

Deputies last week rummaged over a proposal by government presented by justice minister Dawda Jallow to have the current ban on bleaching rescinded.

Photo: Adama Barrow wants the law removed

Predictably, the undertaking was met with a pockets of resistance, amid insistence for the ban be withheld despite few Nos.

Forty percent of women bleach in Africa. In some nations, the figures are jawdropping such as 77 percent of women in Nigeria, 59 percent in Togo, 35 percent in South Africa, in Senegal 27 percent and Mali 25 percent all bleach, according to World Health Organisation.

Like most products, bleaching has got side-effects, the temporary radiant skin it offers aside.

Rashes, visible spots and skin irritation are one of many unpleasant conditions users of the cream battle including pungent ordour with matters getting worst during the heat.

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