Nov 3, 2009, 1:25 PM
In her speech, AAITG women’s right specialist, Fanta Jatta Sowe, said the purpose of the training was to enlighten the youths about the negative effects of female circumcision, a harmful traditional practice that have been, and is still affecting women and girls around Africa and Gambia in particular.
She said since the fight against this human right violation began, Actionaid was not left behind and they are glad to be in the frontline inthis endeavor.
“We have decided to join the caravan to see a change regarding FGM/C in the Gambia and hope the training will go a long way in the course to stop this practice in the country,” Mrs Sowe said.
Sira Bah of GFPA, said the practice is an issue that needs to tackle and remove from the society, adding that it violates the integrity of the female reproduction as it is almost done using rudimentary tools.
She further buttressed the effects it has on women and girls, ranging from fear, shock, bleeding, dislocation of joints because of the force applied during the process and easy transmission of infections as lots of non-medicatedherbs and ashes are used after the cutting; also occasioned are long-term wounds and pain.
She added that the practice could sometimes cause loss of esteem, chronic anxiety, phobias, panic attacks and even infertility because of pelvic infection, which could cause irreparable damage of the female reproductive organs.
The practice could sometimes result in problems at childbirth, because of the tough scar tissue that forms a partial or total occlusion of the baby’s passage, she said.
Giving the Islamic view on FGM/C, Muhammadou Sanno from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in the Gambia FGM/C is most of the time associated with Islam by quoting Hadiths to support this.
He said Hadiths are classified under strong and weak Hadiths, as a result of how authentic they are, and all those Hadiths were female circumcision is mentioned are all weak Hadiths.
He added that God said in the Holy Quran that “anything that is harmful in the human soul is not good” and Islam is a religion that respects women.
He urged Islamic scholars to come together and end this harmful practice as it is definitely detrimental to the health of women.