Numbering hundred, the young people drawn from the villages of Kembujeh, Serekundanding and Bafuloto made this call after undergoing a day’s training on harmful traditional practices. Organised by the women’s rights NGO, Gamcotrap, the training was held in Kembujeh.
Ellen Manga of Bafuloto said: “This training is very important and many people are involved in the practice because they are ignorant of the health implications involved. Some parents are not present when their children are mutilated. But, according to what I have seen, there is a lot of suffering involved and I am pleading with the government to put in place a legislation to stop this harmful practice. We have witnessed scenarios where some women face difficulties during labour.”
Yaya Camara, Bafuloto said:” I have learned a lot today and I have agreed with Gamcotrap that the practice is not part of Islam. I am pleading to the government to take a stance to eradicate this practice especially in rural Gambia to desist from Female Genital Mutilation because it gives no value to the girl child but just complications. After what I saw, I will never take my girl child to undergo such a practice”.
Oumie Sowe of Serekundanding said: “I have seen the complications FGM cause to the girl child and I am convinced that the pain involved can lead to death. The practice is detrimental to our health system, so it must be stopped. I am pleading with the government to help us by all means to stop this harmful practice and if people still insist on doing it, then a law must be put in place.”
Kaddijatou Bojang of Kembujeh affirmed FGM is not a religious obligation. “I am also appealing to the government to help us and put a stop to this ancient tradition.”
Binta Manneh, also of Kembujeh said: “I have gained knowledge from this training today and I am having two girl children. I will talk to my husband in order to convince him to save them from the knife because with the pain involved I don’t wish to see them undergo FGM.”
Kumba Kassama, another participant from Kembujeh said: “I am a victim of FGM and I was told by my family that it is a tradition that I should also follow. But with this training, I would like the government to help us by engaging our parents to abandon this practice.”]]>