Dec 17, 2008, 5:30 AM
Following the first Public Declaration against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by eighteen circumcisers in May 2007, a new badge of Sheroines, 60 Circumcisers and 351 communities would give up the practice in the second Public Declaration against FGM, at the Basse Stadium on 5th December 2009, a press release from the GAMCOTRAP stated.
The Public Declaration has very strong support and commitment from traditional rulers and Council of Elders, as well as the Local Government structures across the regions dedicated to the protection of girl children from harmful traditional practices.
This year's celebration, the release went on, is funded by the UNFPA office in The Gambia and the Inter African committee on Traditional Practices - IAC, in Addis Ababa.
Since 1984, GAMCOTRAP has been engaged in raising the consciousness of communities and professionals on the effects of female genital mutilation on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girl children. Every year, women die of complications associated with child birth, and most of them are related to traditional beliefs and practices that are deeply- rooted in communities. These practices like FGM and early marriage continued to affect maternal and child health, as well as female sexuality.
Over the years, GAMCOTRAP has been complementing government's effort to promote and protect the rights of women and children through consistent grassroots activism and social mobilisation, training and sensitisation activities to raise the consciousness of men and women.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), according to GAMCOTRAP, is a violation of sexual and reproductive health, human rights and a form of violence against women.
"The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) call on states parties to eliminate harmful traditional practices, and the African Union Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa explicitly calls on states to prohibit and condemn FGM through awareness creation and enacting of laws in order to eliminate the practice," the release concluded.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Sarata Jabbi-Dibba and Nfamara Jawneh of our Gender Unit will be traveling to Basse for full coverage of this unprecedented event.