Stakeholders held joint inception workshop on FGM/C

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

In their effort to end Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) in The Gambia, stakeholders, including women groups and traditional practitioners held a joint inception workshop on FGM/C, where they discussed harmful effects of the practice on women and girls.

Held at Senegambia beach hotel in Kololi, the meeting was presided over by the Minister of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Fatou Kinteh. It was supported by UNCEF and UNFPA Gambia offices.

“Today, we gathered here to witness another milestone in the successes regisred in the previous years to end FGM. There was a time when FGM was a no go area for discussion, but with your efforts today, we can talk about it.

 In 2015, Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh announced at a rally in his home village of Kanilai that his government was banning the practice of FGM alongside criminalizing it, placing stiff punishment on anyone found guilty of the practice.

Minister Kinteh said the banning of the practice protected and fulfilled the fundamental human right of women and girls, saying that significant milestone accomplishment came to past after several years of sensitisation and training of individuals and communities, reinforced by strong advocacy decision and policy.

She said the prohibition and criminalisation of FGM has given effect to Gambia government commitment in implementing the International Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC) and the UN Assembly Resolution for the complete elimination of FGM which, she said the country has adopted in 1979, 1989 and 2012 respectively.

“This holistic occurrence has placed The Gambia proudly among twenty-six other African countries that have banned FGM through legislation, and The Gambia UNFPA Programme for the Acceleration of FGM which started in 2009, have played pivotal role in this critical transition for women and girls in The Gambia.”

Bulli Dibba, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare said Gambia have witnessed significant change on FGM over the years, saying the meeting would add another value for the people to eradicate it.

He said there will be no development without the participation of women, which requires the promotion of their status towards national development.

Sandra Lattouf, UNCEF representative said they will remain committed to support the government to achieve it dreams in the empowerment of women and children, saying that the development of a national communication strategy on FGM/C and partners reaching more than fifty thousand people in different communities in the country were worthy courses.

Author: Njie Baldeh