Friday, September 19, 2014

GAMCOTRAP joins one billion rising revolution

Febraury 14 globally, is Valentine day; a day when lovers renew their love, commitment but women and men in The Gambia have been rising together with the rest of the world to end violence against women, thanks to GAMCOTRAP.
GAMCOTRAP, a women’s right NGO, who have over the years been very active and effective in the promotion of women and children’s rights, particularly those relate to female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and other discriminatory practices joined the global energy to strike, dance and rise against Violence against women calling for an end to FGM, early marriage and other gender discriminatory practices affecting women and men in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

V-day is founded by Eve Ensler, a journalist and writer for 15 years and is celebrated on Valentine’s Day globally to bring focus to all forms of violence such as rape, early marriage, battering, Female Genital Mutilation, amongst others and to contribute to the global efforts to end these atrocities in every country and community.

In preparation of the One Billion Rising 2015, GAMCOTRAP held a press briefing to update the public on rising to end violence against women in the Gambia. The executive director of GAMCOTRAP, Dr Isatou Touray said:
 “We rise, we dance, we demand for justice but we now want to change in perceptions and attitudes to dismantle patriarchy and change institutions to take responsibility to end violence against women. We have the responsibility to protect women and girls from all forms of harmful traditional practices, be it female genital mutilation, early and forced marriages, and break the silence over sexual abuse in the home, school, office or any other public place

Sunday, September 14, 2014

In attempts to contain Ebola, Liberia censors its press

      Security forces guard a checkpoint in an area of Monrovia that was in
 quarantine for several days as part of government efforts to try to contain Ebola
 in Liberia. (Reuters

With the Ebola epidemic predicted to get worse, the Liberian government has taken action to silence news outlets critical of its handling of the health crisis which, according to Liberia's Information Ministry, has claimed more than 1,000 lives in the country since March.
Publishers have been harassed and forced to cease printing, and journalists were initially not exempt from a curfew, making it difficult for them to work, according to the Press Union of Liberia (PUL).
During this challenging time, the action by authorities is serving only to strengthen "the distrust" between the government and the media, PUL stated in a letter to Justice Minister Christiana Tah on September 4. In the letter, union president Abdullai Kamara cited several accounts of harassment and intimidation, including cases involving Women VoicesFrontPageAfrica, and the National Chronicle, which have all come under pressure in recent weeks.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Anti-FGM Crusaders to Penetrate Deep into NRR

Dr Touray

Residents of North Bank Region will have their share of the intensifying sensitisation campaign that seeks to eliminate the deep-rooted cultural practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in The Gambia.
Gamcotrap, a women’s rights advocacy is targeting one hundred and eighteen communities in Upper Badibou and Sabach Sanjal Districts. The three year project is funded by the UNFPA/Gambia Government Country Programme 2012 – 2016 entitled: “Accelerating the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the Gambia”.   
In a press released Gamcotrap said they have visited the region before and the governor of the Region, Mr. Lamin Quin Jammeh was briefed by the executive director of GAMCOTRAP. ‘Dr. Isatou Touray informed him of the project objectives which aim at raising awareness and empowering communities to end FGM and protect their girls and women. The governor welcomed the GAMCOTRAP team to his region and stated his support to end FGM”
According to the released, governor Jammeh said the eradication of FGM is part of the development process and should be a concern to everyone, urging GAMCOTRAP not to relent in the progress being made. “FGM, early marriage and women’s rights are three important issues that people should be concern about. “We are together in spirit and we are with you in your efforts to protect the girl children from FGM.” He said.
Gamcotrap stated: “One hundred and fifty (150) Community and Women leaders have been the target of the launching the GAMCOTRAP grassroots FGM activities in Upper Badibou and Sabach Sanjal.”
According to Dr Touray it was a privilege to launch the project in three different venues: Illiassa and Farafenni in the Upper Badibou district and Ngayen Sanjal in the Sabach Sanjal district.