By Olimatou Coker
The Paradise Foundation (PF) under initiative on the Ask Bajen Initiative, a community-led advocacy initiative in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, has recently launched a collection of songs dedicated to advocating against sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) as part of the 16 days of activism.
It was launched at Paradise Suites Hotel.
The launching was filled with powerful performances, insightful discussions, and an opportunity of networking with individuals who are committed to combating SGBV.
These advocacy songs have been created with the intent to inspire change, promote understanding, and encourage dialogue surrounding SGBV as part of the 16th Day of Activism on Sexual Gender Based Violence in the Gambia.
Aisha Baldeh, the Executive Director of the Paradise Foundation Initiative, gave a brief background on the SGBV advocacy songs.
“The reason for coming up with the songs was mainly to address issues of gender based violence. I think my colleagues alluded to the fact that women don’t speak out because sometimes the violence is conducted by the family member. It could be an uncle, a brother or even the father. And the first thing that comes to mind is don’t break up the family. As a result, women keep quiet. In society, there are lots of norms that have been normalized.”
Madam Baldeh said she understands it’s difficult to report cases of SGBV but they should understand that no one deserves to live in pain and agony, “ we are established to help survivors regain themselves and be productive in society”.
Nenneh Touray, the Deputy Director at the Ministry of Gender, spoke of the rationale behind the 16 days of activism against sexual and gender based violence.
“ The violence on men is very limited. Most of the violence is on women and girls and they suffer the most,” she said.
Fallou Sowe, the National Coordinator of NGBV, said the initiative is here to make people realize their rights, privileges and responsibilities to prevent people from enduring certain violations.
Bajen Isatou Dea Sawaneh, the Chairperson of the National Women’s Council and Ask Bajen, said a lot of this back way sindromes that is happening now is being triggered seriously, by unstable or by gender based violence because the young boys and the ladies that are sacrificing their life to go through that terrible journey for greener pastures is because they want to be able to provide for their mothers.
Artists that sang the songs are Sambou Suso, who is a veteran musician performed her song titled “1314” which is the helpline number for anyone facing GBV, Awa Bling, an anti SGBV activist and musician her song titled is “ Bul Faleh and Mariama Jobe, performed song for “Bajen”.