GTU ‘Bantabas’ yielded tremendous results

Monday, September 23, 2019

Gambia Teachers Union (GTU) General Secretary, Marie Antoinette Corr-Jack said the Union’s recent nationwide ‘Bantabas’ on school related gender-based violence have yielded tremendous results.

The Union have been implementing school related gender-based violence activities in the seven regions of the country and General Secretary Corr-Jack said the Bantabas have availed them the opportunity to bring together 75 teachers to share their stories which came up with recommendations to some of the problems.

The activities were meant to ensure that schools across the country are free from all forms of gender-based violence.

Speaking at a press conference at the Union’s head office in Kanifing on Friday, Madam Corr-Jack said the welfare of their teachers is their concern, saying they will strictly intervene where teachers are having issues with gender-based violence.

She added that in addition to organizing the Bantabas for teachers, which was funded by the Solidarity Center, they were also able to organise consultative meetings for Civil Society Organisations, school managers, activists, religious leaders and ward councilors.

Mariama Johm, campaign and advocacy officer for Network against Gender-Based Violence (NGBV), said the administrative data collected by NGBV from five care team institutions have shown an increase in the number of sexual violence cases reported from 191 cases in 2017 to 302 cases in 2018.

She added that from 2014 to 2018, the Network recorded 941 cases of sexual violence with more than 75 percent of the victims being school girls. She also highlighted that the high increase in the number of reported cases of sexual violence call for concerted efforts to tackle the problem.

Joanna Mendy, program officer of Forum for African Women Educationalist (FAWEGAM) – Gambia chapter said her office has established clubs in schools and trained students to be able to identify problems and work together to find solutions to the problems.

She added that these problems came from home to school, thereby resulting to poor performance of students in schools.

She said they have also empowered Mothers’ clubs to be able to work with communities in addressing issues of gender base violence as well as offering counseling to students in schools.

Author: Cherno Omar Bobb