Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gambians Warn To Stop Skype, Viber Dating Services in Internet Cafes

Skype and Viber users will no longer used dating services in internet cafes because they have been warned to immediately desist from doing so.

A release from Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has made it known to the public that such practices are not authorized.

PURA is legally empowered to “determine, review, approve, modify or refuse the tariff and the terms and conditions of service provided by licensee.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Gambia ALERT: Government passes stiff law on false information

The National Assembly of The Gambia on April 16, 2013, amended sections of the country’s Criminal Code to empower the Courts to mete out stiffer punishments to persons found guilty of giving false information to public officials.
The new law which is an amendment to Section 114 of the country’s Criminal Code, empowers the Courts to impose a jail term of five years or a fine of Fifty Thousand Dalasis (about USD1,650) for a misdemeanour that previously attracted a jail term of not more than six months or Five Hundred Dalasis (about USD17).
According to the MFWA sources, apart from the stiffer punishments, the new law also classifies the President, Vice President, Speaker, Deputy Speaker and members of the National Assembly as public officers.
The latest classification approved by the National Assembly is, however, inconsistent with Section 166 (4) of the country’s Constitution which does not recognise these officials as public officers.
The minority members in parliament opposed the new law describing it as draconian, controversial and inconsistent with the Constitution, the sources said.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sierra Leone ALERT: President orders withdrawal of Afri Radio’s broadcast license

Afri Radio, a privately-owned radio station on April 12, 2013 had its broadcast license withdrawn by the statutory media regulatory body, the Independent Media Commission (IMC), following an alleged order from President Ernest Bai Koroma.

The decision to ban the radio station came after “various meetings held with state authorities … on the issuance of (Afri Radio’s) broadcast license” explained the IMC.

According to the Media Foundation for West (MFWA)’s correspondent, President Koroma, during a meeting with officials of the National Telecommunications Commission on April 9, 2013 reportedly ordered the Chairman of the IMC, Rod MacJohnson, to immediately suspend the broadcasting license of Afri Radio.

CRR Women Slams On Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) As Harmful and Surrender Knives

women dropping their once much-treasure tools-the FGM knives

It was a moment filled with emotions under the sunny afternoon in historical village of Wassu, North of Central River Region, where 30 once-committed women mutilators publically rose up to denounce the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and surrender their sharp knives, knives they use to mutilate young girls and ladies with.

The first ever in the region, women danced to the rhythm of the drums and the melodious tunes of traditional music as they denounce FGM, and promised never to go back to what they described as harmful.

The colorfully dressed women, paraded themseves with their hands raised up in front of the guests including the governor and other traditional leaders of the area. These includes Community groups, religious leaders, local leaders, FGM survivors, youth groups, ex-cutters and individual activists and European delegates in the country and one by one, they lay on the ground their once much-treasured tools – the FGM knives.

Friday, April 12, 2013

It’s All Tradition to Me

30 women circumcisers have vowed to stop Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). So, has Gamcotrap’s campaign to eradicate this deep-seated cultural practice been a success so far? Binta A Bah reports

The Gambia has ratified and signed international and regional instruments on all forms of harmful traditional practices such as the  Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women or CEDAW as well as enactment of local laws to promote and protect the rights of women and children.  For example, the Children’s Act and the Women’s Act call for protection of children from harmful traditional practices as well as educating the population on the effects of harmful traditional practices on reproductive health in particular. 

However, the Women’s Act has failed to spell out female genital mutilation which is regarded as violence against women, violates their rights and affects their health in numerous ways.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Waa Juwara, 2 others charged

Lamin Waa Juwara
(The Point)
Police prosecutors have brought charges against Lamin Waa Juwara, former Minister of Regional Administrations, Lands and Traditional Rulers, Hamidou Jallow, Principal Lands and Evaluation Officer, and one Tamsir Onasis Konteh, at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before acting Principal Magistrate Dawda K. Jallow.
It would be recalled that Lamin Waa Juwara, leader and founder of opposition NDAM party, was appointed Minister of Regional Administration, Lands and Traditional Rulers, after last serving as Governor for the Lower River Region.
He was later removed as Minister of Regional Administrations, Lands and Traditional Rulers and later, according to sources, he was appointed Gambia’s High Commissioner to Senegal.
Count one of the particulars of offence indicated that Tamsir Onasis Konteh and Hamidou Jallow, in November 2011 in Banjul within the jurisdiction of the court, conspired to use forged documents to claim compensation in respect of Tanji Residential Layout and thereby committed an offence.

More Women Circumcisers To Drop Knife

Dr Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho

GAMCOTRAP, the leading women's right NGO will celebrates the 4th dropping of the knife scheduled for the 13th April 2013 in the historic town of Wassu, in the Niani of the Central River Region, Gamcotrap said in a media dispatch.


Funded by UNFPA, 30 women Circumcisers from 27 Clusters and 336 Communities who have gained GAMCOTRAP's experience to protect girls from FGM has pledged to make a public declaration to stop FGM in their communities.


"The advocacy to bring about positive change in the lives of girls and women against the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has impacted a greater level of awareness in the Gambia" the released stated.

Monday, April 1, 2013

"The Gambia will legislate against FGM by the end of 2013" Dr Touray

Dr Touray
The Gender Institute at the London School of Economics on the 18th March organized a public event to explore the Politics of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).  The Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP, Dr. Isatou Touray was guest speaker at the event held at New Theatre, East building with a capacity 240 people.  Dr. Touray, renowned for her expertise in Gender and for her work as a leading anti- FGM campaigner beyond the boundaries of the tiny West African country, the Gambia, discussed the efforts being made to overcome the challenges to the abandonment of FGM.  In her paper titled “The Politics of FGM: The Influence of External and Locally-Led Initiatives in the Gambia,” Dr. Touray contextualizes Female Genital Mutilation as part of the development agenda throughout the world.  She argues that it is a development issue because it transcends the African continent. As inter and intra racial marriages are taking place so also is FGM an issue for immigrants in the Diaspora, she highlighted.