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Women leaders resolve to engage peers, communities to abandon FGM

Dec 10, 2013, 9:48 AM

About a hundred and fifty women leaders, youths and women of reproductive age in Kombo Central, West Coast Region, have expressed their resolve to meaningfully engage their peers and communities on the need to abandon Female Genital Mutilation.

They have also called for sustained dialogue and the intensification and acceleration of the ongoing advocacy designed to raise public awareness on the negative impact of FGM and other harmful traditional practices on sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and children.

The women leaders (Fatou Darboe, Fatou Sanneh, Lalia Hydra and Maamaa Kanteh), the youth and women of reproductive age made the declaration and call in Brikama on Friday and Saturday at a series of sensitization workshops organised by women`s right organization GAMCOTRAP, with funding from Save the Children International.

Power point presentations on how the deeply-rooted traditional practice is performed and its associated health implications sent many weeping and sharing disturbing stories on the live realities of some of the victims of FGM.

Participants have vowed never to subject their children or grandchildren to FGM, assuring GAMCOTRAP and other anti-FGM advocates of their full support.

A religious scholar, who made a presentation on the theme: “Islam and Women’s Right”, maintained that FGM is not a religious obligation but a deeply-rooted traditional practice that infringes on the rights of women and the girl child.

In his address at the closing ceremony, on behalf of the regional governor, the Alkalo of Kabafita, Tombong Jawara, expressed appreciation for hosting the forum.

He lauded GAMCOTRAP for the initiative emphasizing the need for the knowledge and information acquired to be accurately disseminated to enhance public understanding for the attainment of the desired goals.

Alkalo Jawara said no meaningful progress can be achieved in the absence of good health.

The Alkalo of Serrekundanding, Sulayman Badgie, also underscored the need for massive awareness creation and dialogue in the drive to eradicate FGM and other harmful traditional practices in society.