|Guests at the event (Pix by GAMCOTRAP)|
GAMCOTRAP Observes 3rd Dropping Of The Knife
Six districts, namely: the three Kiangs, West, East and Central and the three Jarras, West, East and Central of the Lower River Region (LRR) graced the occasion marking an end to the practice of Female Genital Mutilation on their part.
Dubbed the “3rd Dropping of the Knife”, the Executive Director of the Gambia Committee Against Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP), described the six districts coming together as a “signs of unity”, adding that “change is certainly possible.”
The event was held in Jarra Soma in LRR, is the first ever in this region of The Gambia, witnessed by foreign invitees, the Governor of LRR, Chief of Wuli West amongst others on 9th July, 2011.
On the Day, 20 Female Circumcisers agreed publicly to stop the practice of Female Genital Mutilation, FGM.
Speaking on Saturday, Dr. Touray expresses gratitude to the men and women of the LRR for what she called a “full commitment” which has contributed to the success of an end to female circumcision by circumcisers.
“Over the years that we have worked in LRR, the people have responded well to the efforts of making FGM no more a taboo since it is now subjected to debate amongst different sectors of the community,” she said. Six districts namely: the three Kiangs and the three Jarras of the region were present, “showing signs of unity and that change is certainly possible”.
And Dr Touray proclaim: "Today, GAMCOTRAP can proudly associate itself with 98 ex-circumcisers and 528 communities throughout The Gambia who have gone through the process of empowerment and change to protect FGM, all thanks to the support of ODAM ONGD and other foreign partners."
She adds that the Day’s successes is also associated with the fact that communities could understand what is contained in the very instrument signed on their behalf, and with such success, GAMCOTRAP and partners continue to engage professional bodies through advocacy, draining information campaigns and sensitization.
This, she said, is part of the process for change in the protection of girls from being subjected to the practice of FGM, and with the cooperation of the Association of Non-governmental Organisations in The Gambia (TANGO), they are able to set up the Alternative Employment Opportunities, the AEO Programme.
This programme, she explains, provide ex-circumcisers with employment opportunities to be able to earn and manage their own small businesses. “D100, 000.00 have been provided to the 20 circumcisers who agreed to drop their knives and blades publicly paving the way to a better future for girls as well reduction in poverty,” she revealed.
Also speaking, the Programme Officer of TANGO Mr Kebba Barrow said, over the years, TANGO has engaged and mobilised NGOs in the country to raise issues of gender-based violence.
Mr Barrow noted that the AOE has been an area of emphasis in the advocacy work by GAMCOTRAP as a token to support the circumcisers for dropping the knife. “These circumcisers had training on health effects of FGM and other Harmful Traditional Practices as well as Small Scale Entrepreneurship to be able to manage small businesses within their immediate environment,” he said.
GAMCOTRAP successfully convinced 60 Female Circumcisers from 351 communities in the Upper River Region (URR) of The Gambia to drop the knife in 2009, and earlier on in 2007, 18 Female Circumcisers from 63 communities in the Greater Banjul Area drop the knife.
- Source: The Voice Newspaper