Nov 17, 2014, 9:40 AM
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with the Gambia Government, has provided funds for GAMCOTRAP to implement activities geared towards awareness creation on harmful traditional practices such as Female Genital Mutilation, forced and early marriages, in various districts of The Gambia.
In line with the Gambia Government’s commitment to advancing gender equality and empowerment of women and as indicated in the various policy documents to promote and protect women’s rights, GAMCOTRAP will engage and contribute to supporting the Government of The Gambia in achieving this commitment.
Also in response to the regional and international human rights conventions that The Gambia signed and ratified the UNFPA/UNICEF Joint Programme aims at accelerating the abandonment of FGM in The Gambia.
One of such conventions signed is the AU Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa signed on 11 September 2003, ratified on 25 May 2005 and deposited its instrument on 6 September 2005.
In its 2014 Country Programme, the UNFPA continued to collaborate with the Government of The Gambia to eradicate FGM and other harmful traditional practices affecting sexual and reproductive health of women and the girl-child within a project entitled “Accelerating the abandonment of FGM in The Gambia”.
GAMCOTRAP continues to scale up the advocacy to end harmful practices focusing on the North Bank Region of The Gambia.
This is a three-year project being implemented in two districts in the North Bank Region, namely Upper Badibou and Sabach Sanjal districts. Project activities would target community leaders, religious scholars, women leaders, women of reproductive age, circumcisers and their assistants, traditional communicators, traditional birth attendants, young people and individuals who will be identified by their communities to be trained as Community-Based Facilitators from the two districts.
The Project would also empower the two radio stations in the region to engage in media advocacy to end harmful practices affecting the health of women and girl-children in the region.
GAMCOTRAP would partner with District Chiefs and communities in the project implementation with a view to empowering target groups with accurate information that would promote and protect women and girl-children from female genital mutilation, forced and early marriages and other forms of gender-based violence.
Over the years, various communities including their religious scholars, have received in-depth information on the negative effects of these practices and have been supportive of the campaign to protect women and girls in their communities.
As a result of the advocacy and social mobilization in the country, 128 circumcisers in 900 communities have abandoned FGM.
Currently the three Niaminas are poised to abandoning FGM, with their 30 circumcisers and 107 communities to be celebrated.