Mar 12, 2010, 1:31 PM
The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (Gamcotrap) at the weekend concluded series of sensization workshops for youths in Wellingara and Sukuta.
The sensitization that attracted hundreds of participants from each cluster was aimed at training young people about the dangers of harmful traditional practices, particularly female genital mutilation (FGM).
The forums also aimed at bringing youths together and share common goals and see the best way forward in improving their culture.
The participants also looked at their culture critically thus highlighting the negative implications of bad cultural practices.
Speaking at the forum, the executive director of Gamcotrap, Dr Isatou Touray, expressed delight at seeing the large turnout of the youths to the “very important forum”.
Dr Touray said that their turnout was a clear indication of the commitment and concern they have on the dangers of harmful tradition within the society.
The rights activist said the purpose of the sensitization was to examine ourselves and our culture and take the right choice for the best interest of all.
She also told the participants to believe in their culture, understand them and critically analyse and improve them in the best interest of the future generation.
She advised the youths to always use dialogue and respect their parents in advocating for abolition of FGM.
Dr Touray further told the youths that Gamcotrap is committed to the promotion and protection of women and girl children and their political, social, educational and sexual reproduction and health rights.
“We support any national and international declaration protecting these rights, in particular the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” he said.
Dr Touray added that Gamcotrap aims to create and raise the consciousness of men and women about traditional practices that negatively affect the health of children and women whilst encouraging positive practices.
For his part, Batch Jallow, a participant, thanked Gamcotrap for the initiative.
“We are appealing to Gamcotrap to continue their good work for the best interest of our society,” he said.
Hawa Sabally also expressed similar sentiments and described the sensititazation as timely, saying it would really improve their knowledge on FGM.