Aug 9, 2010, 12:36 PM
Two UN female delegates from the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the major sponsor of Save the Children Trust Fund, based in Dakar, have applauded Gamcotrap officials for "a job well done" regarding the way and manner officials of the Women's Right NGO have been handling the implementation of organisation's activities in the country.
The visitors were in the country to see for themselves some of the challenges facing Gamcotrap, as well as to assess its activities and implementation of the funded projects.
Speaking at a meeting held at Lamin Village during a three-day sensitisation workshop with lady councillors, women, chiefs, religious leaders, and youths, one of the UN women delegates, Raky Chaupin, thanked the participants for responding massively to "this very important sensitisation campaign with the aim of ending FGM in The Gambia."
With the numbers of participants that turned out for the forum, she said that was a clear indication that the Gambia is committed to ending FGM.
She also stressed that FGM is a long rooted culture in the Gambian society, but the holistic approach Gamcotrap is taking is "the best way" of fighting the reduction of FGM in the country.
She added that with the commitment of the Gamcotrap officials in their implementation strategy nationwide, they would continue to support the project to ensure of FGM becomes a thing of the past.
Development cannot go without women empowerment, he said, stressing that it is time to eradicate FGM in the country.
She asserted that violence against women is becoming rampant, which calls for a concerted effort.
She also stressed that many countries are working towards the eradication of FGM in the world and The Gambia is not an exception. "We are ready to give support to this project to ensure that FGM is mapped out of this continent," she assured.
For her part, Anta, one of the delegates, thanked the executive director of Gamcotrap and her management for their commitment in ensuring that FGM is eradicated in The Gambia.
She said looking at their coverage has shown that Gamcotrap has embarked on a massive awareness sensitisation campaign in the country.
Madam Anta used the occasion to encourage the communities to join Gamcotrap in the fight against FGM in the country.
In her remarks, the executive director of Gamcotrap, Isatou Touray, expressed joy and appreciation for the massive participation of the people of Kombo North to end FGM in the country.
Dr Touray made it clear that her NGO is not here to compete with government but to complement their efforts in driving the agenda forward.
"This project has been ongoing for years and has registered significant impact in our society," she said, adding that with the support of everyone, "we will be able to fight against FGM in our society successfully."
She also used the occasion to thank their supporters and promised that they would do their best to ensure FGM becomes a thing of the past in The Gambia.
Kombo North District Lady Councillor Kumba Barry, for her part, thanked the participants and Gamcotrap for the laudable initiative.
"Our children have been suffering a lot as a result of the FGM, which was due to ignorance, but the holistic approach that Gamcotrap is using to sensitize the masses is a step in the direction," she said.
Gamcotrap, she added, deserves to be commended for the initiative of eradicating FGM in The Gambia. "We are the grassroots communities and we will continue to join Gamcotrap officials in the fight against FGM in our society," she said.
Also speaking at the forum, the Lamin Ward councillor, Fabakary B. Manneh, described the sensitization campaign as "very significant and timely".
He therefore said the fight against FGM should not only be left in the hands of Gamcotrap; it is also a collective responsibility to remove it from the society.
The Alkalo of Lamin Village, Ebrima Bojang, commended Gamcotrap for involving his communities in the fight against FGM in the society.
He expressed delight in associating with the initiative and urged Gamcotrap to continue with "the good work".