By Olimatou Coker
The Gambia Food and Nutrition Agency (GAFNA) in partnership with the Network Against Gender-Based Violence (NGBV) on Thursday celebrated 16 days of activism 2020 at a ceremony held at the GAFNA office in Bakau.
Speaking, Yusupha J Gomez, the executive director of GAFNA, said the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence is commemorated globally and annually starting from 25th November.
He stated that this year’s celebration is one of its kind due to Covid-19 restrictions which compelled victims to live with their abusers during the lockdown resulting in a rise in the number of gender-based violence globally.
Gomez added that it is crucial as a partner and member of the society to participate in the prevention and response to SGBV by reporting incidents to the concerned authorities.
“We need to stand united in the fight against gender-based violence and thus protect women and girls who most of the time fall victim in the hands of men as a result of power inequality,” he said.
Gomez challenged everyone to take part in the fight to end sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls. He said this is a serious violation of their fundamental human rights and it compromises their dignity.
Mustapha Mbye, communications officer, Childfund International The Gambia, said the organisation is child-focused which aims to ensure that all children are given the opportunity to thrive.
“We at Child Fund will remain committed to the protection of children and women and will ensure that children are given the required environment in whatever background, whatever location they are here in The Gambia, Child Fund will meet them and give them all the opportunities they need especially education, health care and other basic needs,” he added.
Fallu Sowe, coordinator of NGBV, said this day is important to them because they are targeting a specific group of people who are often affected by sexual and gender-based violence all over the world.
“Today marks human rights day. This is a day that we as human beings should celebrate. This is a day for liberation of every human being but we should also reflect on those whose human rights have been violated all over the world especially those in The Gambia and most especially those who have been victims or survivors of sexual and gender-based violence during the course of the year.”
He added that sexual and gender-based violence is a war that all human beings need to fight.