Feb 12, 2010, 3:12 PM
Youth Council (NYC), last Saturday held a breakfast meeting with youth
organisations, partners on Female Genital Mutilation/Circumcision (FGM/C),
child marriage and teenage pregnancy (Never Again in my Generation).
Held at Sunshine Restaurant in Pipeline, the meeting was supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Lamin Darboe, National Youth Council Executive Director said youth organisations are central in their work especially when it comes to health issues. He added that the platform was to give them a chance to collectively discuss on what they have been doing as individuals and collective organisations with regards to FGM/C, child marriage and teenage pregnancy.
Mr Darboe highlighted that National Assembly Members need accurate information from the people to better represent them, saying that they want to influence the law of the country but cannot do it directly because they are not parliamentarians.
“Our opportunity is to talk to our parliamentarians directly and give them adequate information to better do their work on our behalf,” he went on.
He said they have their own perceptions and concerns beyond the formal settings and can find answers, saying over 58 percent of women in the country are young and need to be protected.
Bintou HK Fatty of Women’s Bureau highlighted that organisations coordination with regards to the fight against FGM/C, child marriage and teenage pregnancy is limited in the country.
She added that all citizens should be watchdogs to report issues of FGM/C, child marriage and teenage pregnancy as government cannot be everywhere.
Momodou Lamin Jarjusey of He For She urged the government to set examples of those found wanting of the practice to ensure other desist from it.
Mberry Sonko of NYC said people need strong political will, government coordination, shared best practices and religious scholars to come clear as to whether the practice of FGM/C is religious or not.
Ebrima Njie of Beakanyang said CSOs need a manual guide and qualified health workers to communicate to women on the effect of the practice to ensure they abandon it.
Aminata Jaiteh of The Girls Agenda said to end the practice, CSOs need the trust of the society to communicate well.