“Negative cultural practices should be abandoned”

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Neneh Touray, the assistant director of Information, Education and Communication of the Women’s Bureau has stated that negative cultural tradition practices that affect our wellbeing should be abandoned.

“Positive cultural traditional practice should be maintained in our society. However, those that affect our health condition should be abandoned, “she stated.

The women’s Bureau assistant director of Communication made this remark at Darsilameh village in Brikama South District of the West Coast Region.

The sensitisation outreach within the WCR was organised by Women’s Bureau with funding from UNICEF.

The discussion of various meetings, she added, centered on Women’s Amendment Act focusing on the deep rooted cultural traditional practices such as; Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), Children Amendment Act among other child protection issues.

She said despite the fact that the laws still exist, however, many people don’t understand it. “Therefore, there is need to sensitise the people on the significance of the laws and the consequences and penalties involved in the menace.”

Mrs. Touray added that the law enforcement officers need to speed up. “We need to do away with the issues of culture of silence and reported cases to the nearest police station,” she noted.

She reminded the gathering that the laws on FGM/C still exist, thus whoever is found wanting will face the full force of the law. “The National Assembly members have the mandate to repeal the laws but as far as the laws are not repealed they still exist,” she remarks.

She calls on participants to participate well and spread the message to others communities within the region.

The Regional Social Welfare coordinator, Haruna Badgie underscored the importance of the daylong meeting, saying the forum would avail them the opportunities to discuss child protection issues within the committees identified ranging from physical abuses to other abuses.

Badgie urged parents to take leading role towards the protection and safeguarding of our children from all forms of violence.

He added that rape, teenage pregnancy and child marriage all of which is happening in our societies should become the things of past.

“At the end of the forum, participants will have the understanding as how to protect and promote their children from such maltreatment,” he noted.

The progamme management officer of the MCNHRP project in CRR, Baba Njie, called on the communities to desist from the deep rooted cultural traditional practices such as FGM/C.

The menace, he stated, is affecting the wellbeing of our children’s. “Lots of children’s that undergo the practices lose lot of blood,” he remarks.

He said lots of circumcisers that do the practice don’t know where to cut, adding that others are very old and cannot even see properly.

“The child undergoes pains so much. Others are in fact blocked, and it is removed when they are taken to marriage,” he said, adding that others even develop “Fistula.”

The state counsel’s Child Rights Unit officer at the attorney general chambers, Ministry of Justice, Bafou Jeng dwelled on the importance of the forum, reminding that gathering that the laws still exist.

She added that whoever is found doing these practices can have a sentence of three years or a fine of D50, 000 or both.

The imam of Brusubi Essa Manneh also spoke at the meeting. He said FGM/C is not a religious belief, saying as far as it is affecting our wellbeing should be abandoned.

Author: Momodou Jawo