#National News

GAMCOTRAP launches sexual, productive health rights project

Feb 7, 2024, 12:55 PM | Article By: Sulayman Waan & Jankey Ceesay

The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, (GAMCOTRAP) in partnership with the Canadian Embassy based in Dakar last Tuesday launched an ambitious project designed to enable vulnerable women achieve and attain their full potentials.

The project dubbed –‘Promoting the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHRS) of women and girls’, is part of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls project.

The project, funded by the Canadian Embassy based in Dakar, will be implemented by GAMCOTRAP in the Central River and North Bank Regions of The Gambia.

It also seeks to ensure and promote SRHRs of women and girls in The Gambia through advocacy and right education, with a focus on envisioning 2030 and 2063 targets.

The ceremony held at GAMCOTRAP’s conference hall, attracted a delegation from the Canadian Embassy based in Dakar and women representatives of several local organisations. 

 In her launching statement, Dr. Isatou Touray, executive director of GAMCOTRAP, said the project envisions a future where women and girl children are allowed to reach their full potential and feel empowered so as to lead through a comprehensive rights education and collaboration with diverse stakeholders.

“We aim to champion women and girl-child rights in The Gambia,” she affirmed, adding, “We focus on tangible changes in lives of women and girl-children, addressing their marginalisation and directly challenging their oppression.”

Dr. Touray reiterated that harmful traditional practices such as FGM, child marriage and gender stereotypes are prevalent in The Gambia, thus threatening women’s health and wellbeing.

These practices, she added, persist due to the patriarchal nature of the society, especially in rural areas, where access to information and decision-making is limited.

In this regard, she said GAMCOTRAP’s primary goal is to empower a critical mass of young women and girls to advocate for their rights, particularly in sexual and reproductive health.

“This is a feminist agenda aimed at harnessing the energy of the youth to realize the 2023- 2063 targets.” she added.

The project, she added, was also aimed at addressing poverty, HIV/AIDS and violence perpetuated by cultural norms.

This, she further added, would be achieved through strengthening local community structures to advocate for the wellbeing of women, children and People With Disability (PWD) in the face of harmful practice.

Marie Genevieve Mounier, Canadian ambassador to Dakar said the project is not just about eradicating harmful practices, but it is about creating an environment where dignity and rights of all women and girls are upheld and respected.”

She assured that the government of Canada will continue to promote and protect the sexual and productive health of women, while thanking the right advocacy group for its efforts in fighting harmful traditional practices as well as supporting women.

Fatou Saho, president of Underprivileged Women Association, said GAMCOTRAP has been supporting women and girls since its inception.

She, thus, commended the feminist organisation for fighting for underprivileged women and girls in the society.