By Sarjo Camara Singateh
Gambia Committee on harmful traditional practices and promoting the
rights of women and girls (Gamcotrap) was engaged in a series onsensitization activities in the Kombo East of West Coast Region.
With the funding from Save the Children, training sessions with
participants drawn from different clusters were held in the
settlements of Sohm, Kafuta, Kuloro and Basori. From the 8th to 11th
of January 2015, women of reproductive age, women leaders, and
traditional communicators, Youths and young people from different age
groups were sensitised.
Speaking at the opening on the first day in Sohm, the chief of Kombo
East district, Alh. Basiru Jarjue, noted that this is not the first
time that for Gamcotrap to organize activities in his district. He
added that he has also attended a Gamcotrap training organized for
The Kombo East chief urged the participants to listen carefully and
get the right health information about female genital mutilation and
women’s health rights in general.
Madam Mary Small, the Senior Programme Coordinator at Gamcotrap,
delivered the opening statement on behalf of the Executive Director.
Mrs Small gave a brief history of their organization and reasons why
it is campaigning against female genital mutilation and promoting the
rights of women and children.
She dwelled on the effects of FGM and other Sexually Transmitted
Infections (STIs) on women and girls.
Mr. Lamin Jarjue, the Alkalo (head) of Sohm village, in his welcoming
remark, assured Gamcotrap of their fullest support.
For her part, Mrs. Amie Bojang Sissoho, Gamcotrap Programme
Coordinator, IEC, said women should try and seek knowledge to enable
them to debate on issues affecting them. She noted that FGM is a
harmful traditional practices and it should be abandoned. She said the
Maputo Protocol has protected the African women from all kinds of
harmful traditional practices, adding that violence against women is
She described violence against women as any act perpetrated against
woman which causes or could cause them physical, sexual,
psychological, and economic harm, including threats, imposition of
arbitrary restrictions or deprivation of fundamental freedoms in
private or public life both in peace time and during situations of
armed conflicts or war.
Madam Bojang Sisoho said the Protocol calls on States parties to
prohibit and condemn all forms of harmful practices which negatively
affect the human rights of women and are contrary to recognized
international standards. She added that states parties shall take all
necessary legislative and other measures to eliminate such practices,
including public awareness, education, etc.
Ms. Fatoumata Touray spoke on the rights of children, noting that all
children are entitled to right to life, survival, development and fair
treatment. She calls on parents to care for their children with
disabilities and support their development.
Statements from different venues and responses from participants will
be featured in the Women and Development Column.
By Sarjo Camara Singateh