By Tabora Bojang
The programme coordinator of the Network Against Gender Based Violence the Gambia, Fallou Sowe has revealed that over four hundred (400) registered cases of gender based violence has taken place in the Gambia in 2016 which ranges from sexual, economic, physical and psychological violence.
He made this revelation during the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Network held at the Regional Education Directorate in Kanifing which is meant to, amongst other things, share achievements and challenges of the organisation as well as put in new strategies for effective collaboration in the fight against gender-based violence.
“These are cases registered from the few institutions that are working with the network such as the Justice ministry, Female Lawyers Association, EFSTH, Social Welfare Department and Serekunda Hospital and these are mostly cases concerning rape, child marriage, wife battering, Female Genital Mutilation and other issues concerning women and children” he stated, adding that there are also lots of unregistered cases.
“So this is just a tip of the iceberg; just to tell us that gender based violence is happening and for us, it is something that we can take on to show that it is a great concern and we should work together to ensure gender based violence is eradicate,” he said.
According to Sowe, one of the huge challenges the organisation faces is the issue of societal norms and traditional beliefs which according to him affect their task in curbing these practices.
“Gender based violence is very close to every person so it should be a concern to everybody, we are all affected either directly or in directly. So we all have to contribute and play a role to ensure it is totally eradicated in the Gambia,” he advised.
The Network Against Gender Based Violence the Gambia was established in April 2009 with membership comprising civil society organisations and government institutions that share the common goal of combating gender- based violence in the Gambia.
The year under review was very successful because the network was able to implement lot of activities with support from partners in eradicating gender based violence.
The network has implemented up to 43 activities, including research on FGM, capacity building programmes on finance, monitoring and evaluation and popularization of the anti- FGM law.