Gambia yesterday commemorated 16-day of activism against Gender-Based Violence
under the theme “Together We Can End GBV in Education”.
The 16-day of activism against GBV campaign is a global movement to call for the prevention and elimination of violence related to gender.
The timing of the 16-day campaign includes the International Day for the Elimination of violence against women November 25, World AIDS Day December 1st and International Human Rights Day December 10.
Throughout the 16-day, organizations conduct awareness-raising, fundraising and advocacy activities.
Each year, the campaign chooses a theme related to GBV.
The 2017 global theme is “Together We Can End GBV in Education”.
Kebba Jaiteh, the admin and logistics manager at ChildFund-The Gambia, said that gender-based violence is violence that is directed at an individual because of his or her biological sex, gender identity or perceived adherence to socially defined norms of masculinity and femininity.
He said the local theme as a country office is “End Child Marriage Now”, adding that this global theme is built on the momentum of the sustainable Development Goals and seeks to end all forms of GBV in education.
“As an organization, we are joining the 16-day of activism campaign because we know firsthand the importance of addressing GBV, a root cause of multiple forms of violence that children experience and witness,” he stated.
According to him, the campaign also gives them an opportunity to come together to discuss critical issues facing children and families they serve.
It empowers them to be part of a global movement to make the world a safer place for girls and boys, he noted.
He said ChildFund works to prevent GBV in many forms, including bullying, child marriage, FGM, discrimination against certain groups, and sexual violence and exploitation.
Child Protection and Advocacy Specialist, Alieu Marr, said the 16-day of activism against GBV was usually commemorated globally by almost all NGOs including ChildFund.
The significance of these days was to take stock of the challenges that the children, especially boys and girls face in their access to education, retention in school and progress through the various stages of school.
Mr Marr posited that they are mainly focused on sensitisation with particular emphasis on child marriage and there already are laws that have banned early marriage, and FGM.
In spite of the enactment of the laws, some people are still practicing child marriage and FGM, he lamented.
He stressed out that the laws need to be popularized in order for people to be aware of and the strict measures attach to those laws otherwise the violence would likely continue.