Committee on Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and
Girl-child (GAMCOTRAP) has sensitised women leaders in Wuli East and Sandu
Districts of the Upper River Region (URR) on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
and other forms of harmful traditional practices.
The sensitisation was held at Briff and Diagubu villages on 4th and 5th October respectively.
The UNFPA funded activity aim to accelerate the abandonment of FGM and other forms of harmful traditional practices such as Early/Force Marriages and Gender Based Violence.
Princess Adine MunaHot, public health, gender and mediation specialist said the community outreach campaign focused only on FGM and other harmful traditional practices that affects women and girl-child’ health.
Madam MunaHot commended the women leaders for demonstrating their commitment to the elimination of these harmful practices in the public. She appealed to the participants to deliver back the gained knowledge to their various communities. “We are humans, we made traditional practices and we should be able to change traditions,” she said.
The women’s rights activist further said no development is better than women empowerment, adding women empowerment as well safeguarding women’s rights can’t be accomplished without knowledge. “When we have knowledge and put it into practice, we would realize positive changes but when we have knowledge without impacting it on the lives of the voiceless; then we are not doing well,” she noted.
She highlighted that practicing FGM can cause serious health complication that can affect women and girl-child’ wellbeing, adding that the practice could as well cause women to become barren. “Anything that can affect human’s health should be avoided,” she warned.
Madam MunaHot expressed gratitude to UNFPA for funding the project, saying UNFPA contribution to national development is recognized and appreciated.
Musa Jallow, GAMCOTRAP head of finance said: “GAMCOTRAP stand is to make sure FGM is eliminated in the society.”
He highlighted that the organisation is not fighting traditional practices but rather only combating harmful practices. He noted that despite the banned of FGM many are still practicing it secretly.
He warned women to end the harmful practice, saying that the FGM law still exists and if anyone is found wanting would face legal consequences.
Fatou Bojang, GAMCOTRAP field coordinator urged women to end FGM and Early Marriage, saying that these practices can cause severe health effects on them.
Ms Bojang further called on women to enroll their children to school, especially the girl child to ensure they improve understanding and alleviate poverty in their various communities.
Funneh Kanteh, a participant cum victim of FGM warned all and sundry to do away with the practice, noting that she never give birth after being married to five different men as a result of FGM’ health effects.