Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Anti-FGM Crusaders Penetrate Deep into Kombo North

Residents of Kombo North, in the West Coast Region are having their share of the intensifying sensitisation campaign that seeks to eliminate the deep-rooted cultural practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in The Gambia.
 Although significant gains have been made in the crusade against FGM, the practice is reported to be high at places such as Kombo North.  
After concluding a three-day training last week for 75 participants in Sukuta where women resolved to join the campaign, GAMCOTRAP will today wrap up a similar training workshop at Lamin village, Kombo North.
The event brought together local government authorities, community leaders, women leaders, among others from various villages in Kombo North.
It is part of the second phase of the project that seeks to accelerate the abandonment of the practice. It is jointly funded by Save the Children Sweden and UN Women Trust Fund. 
GAMCOTRAP is a women’s rights advocacy group that has been fighting to eliminate harmful traditional practices in The Gambia for the past 28 years.  
 The director of GAMCOTRAP, Dr. Isatou Touray in her address lauded the turnout of the participants describing it as a tangible move to the call to the banning of FGM.
She described the previous training in Sukuta village as successful, noting that more women circumcisers have vowed to drop their knives.
“95 percent of women in the country who were by us sensitized have dropped their knives,” she added.
“We are not forcing people to stop it. We are trying to convince them by sensitising them to know that it is a health hazard and it contravenes the rights of the girl child and that of the woman,” she said.
 Fabakary Manneh, Councilor Lamin ward reminded the participants that each of them is representing thousands of women who all cannot be present at the training. 
“You are required to disseminate the information in your communities,” he told the participants. You should be patient during the training as FGM has left many women’s lives miserable.”
  Ebrima Bojang, the Alkalo of Lamin who gave the welcoming remarks said, women should be outspoken and manifest the implications of the practice inorder to protect more lives in their various areas.
He urged the participants to make good use of the training and transmit what they will be taught into their communities.

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