By Aminata Ceesay The Young People in the Media in collaboration with the Girls Generation has organized a stakeholders’ forum on the banning of FGM on Friday at NaNA conference hall in Kanifing. The forum was held under the theme ‘Accelerating our collective efforts in Ending FGM in our Generation.’ Speaking at the event, the executive coordinator YPM Mr Abdou Jatta said: “This forum has come at a right time one year down the line after the presidential pronouncement on the banning of FGM and the amendments of anti FGM laws on the Women’s Act 2005. Due to the cultural sensitivity surrounding FGM, discussing it in homes and communities used to be a taboo. Today the issue has become a household word in the Gambia, this is a big achievement which is as a result of rigorous advocacy, social mobilization, health workers, tradition and religious leaders amongst other. As advocates we should not be complacent in our efforts to end FGM just because it has been banned, instead we need to redouble efforts and use the best practices and lessons learnt from our previous interventions to introduce more innovative approaches which will speed up the total abandonment of FGM in the Gambia.” He added: “Over the years we have seen an increase in the number of actors engaging in social mobilization efforts geared towards the abandonment of FGM, more so following the bad and the legislation against the practice, however it requires proper coordination to ensure consistency in the work of all the partners more progress is expected with the coming of the legislation, we envisage that from this stakeholders forum more work is needed from all of us more than ever before in popularizing the law while at the same time further creating awareness on the negative effects of FGM and gender based violence.” Also speaking at the event, the vice president of YPM, Fatou Ellika Muloshi, said: “As a follow up to this stakeholders’ forum YPM will embark on a series of social media mobilization campaigns on social media platforms to raise awareness on other forms of gender-based violence. We hope that at the end of this anti FGM project, there will be zero report on the practice of FGM by mid-2017. We all know that Gambia is a country with a deep-rooted culture and that is why we are going to the grassroots to reach those people who are not fortunate to know the harm attached to the practice. At the end of the two day forum, participants are expected to know the various legal instruments that address this harmful practice, the punishment attached to the practice and ways to make people understand why FGM is harmful for the girl child.”]]>
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By Victor Koyi, ChildFund International, Africa Regional Director COVID-19 presents a great challenge to the education sector. It forces us to explore new ways of educating our...
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