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GAMCOTRAP Sensitise More Communities

Mar 26, 2009, 5:43 AM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh in URR

The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices affecting the health of women and girls Gamcotrap on 23rd March held a day sensitization forum the village of Sare Demba Toro, in Sandu District Upper River Region.

The forum which was attended by representatives of 14 villages in the Sare Demba Toro cluster, is part of the Gamcotrap's nation-wide training and campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) in The Gambia.

Addressing the meeting, the deputy governor of URR, Momodou S. Kah applauded Gamcotrap for reaching out to the rural communities to discuss with them issues affecting their lives particularly FGM. "Tradition is tradition, but if the world is changing and you fail to change, you will be left behind," he said.

He encouraged the participants to listen attentively to the various speakers and also to share the knowledge acquired from the training with the wider society.

Dr.Isatou Touray, Executive Director of Gamcotrap, urged women of Sandu to also drop the knife. She said that many countries have abolished FGM and that there is a need for them to also follow the trend.

Oustass Saikou Fayenkeh of Basse emphasised that FGM has no Islamic backing.  He called on the people of the area to desist from the harmful traditional practice.

Oustass Abdoulie Krubally, deputy Imam of the village made similar remarks.

Mrs.Amie Bojang Sissoho, Program Officer Gamcotrap, informed the meeting that the consequences of FGM are many and severe.

According to her, FGM causes prolonged labor, itching around genitalia, too much bleeding, just to name a few.

She revealed that even though there is no specific law in the Gambia criminalising FGM, the country has however ratified many conventions and protocols protecting the wellbeing of women and girls. "Gambia government has shown commitment in protecting the welfare of girls and women".

Jumu Bah, head Chief of Sandu, welcomed the guest to the district and urged the people gathered to support programmes and ideas that are aimed at promoting their well-being, naming the elimination of FGM as one such subject.

Sarjo Damba, an ex-circumciser from Boro Manjang Kunda in URR, urged the women of the area to emulate her by also dropping the knife.

Nyama Kamaso from Kuwonku village, and Aja Arujuma Bah of Sare Gubu, pledged their readiness to stop FGM.