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
Dr Touray who is also the V-Day coordinator for West Africa said one billion rising revolution is an escalation of their campaign-one billion rising and one billion rising for justice. “There is nothing more powerful than the global solidarity as it makes all of us safer in our outspokenness, braver in what we feel willing to do. When we see women rise, it inspires all of us to go further and we know the eyes of the world are on us. Through one billion rising, laws were created, passed and enforced. Leaders were born, politicians were proven undeniable. You only have to look for women who rose around the world for justice. Our cries for each of our particular justice rose and merged in a sea of cries and demands, creating a new college, a new collective vision and changing landscape of what a just world might look like for women and girls. This is the revolution we are resolved to achieve for all.”
In 2012, thousands of One Billion Rising for Justice Events took place throughout the world. These events were organized and produced by local activists. It’s the day of synchronized action when one billion people in 207 countries rise for justice. Even the United Nations were not left behind. They observed the rising at its headquarters in New York City.
In 2012 and 2013 GAMCOTRAP joined others in the world to observer the rising in Lower River Region of the country, where hundreds of women, men and children rose up to dance, singing very emotional songs.
There is no specific law banning FGM in The Gambia even though a draft proposed bill to prohibit FGM has been subjected to a national consultation and submitted to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs at the Office of the Vice President and Minister for Women’s Affairs, the Women’s Bureau, the Justice Ministry and the office of the Ombudsman.