Young People in the Media in collaboration with stakeholders in the empowerment of girl-child in the country recently convened a day’s All-Girls Conference on the theme: ‘Ending all Forms of Gender-Based Violence and Empowering Girls to Take the Lead in Nation Building.
The forum was supported by The Girls Generation, a global campaign that supports Africa-led movement to end Female Genital Mutilation.
The campaign amplifies such issues on international stage and brings attention to inspirational stories of change from most affected countries in Africa including The Gambia.
TGG also accelerates the worldwide movement to end FGM by galvanizing actions, supporting campaign across Africa, thus pushing for more resources to end FGM through the effective use of social change communication and capturing positive stories of change.
Addressing the gathering, Fanta Bai Secka, director of Social Welfare, thanked YPM for staging the forum, which she said, is aimed at empowering girls to end GBV so as to contribute to national development endeavors.
‘’So we need a change of mindset as the government of The Gambia has introduced the rights of children, especially the girl-child; and there have been series of programmes banning child marriage and FGM, but the problem is still affecting many,‘’.
According to her, it is time that they take urgent actions and addressed the issues, saying girls should endeavour to know their human rights for it to be protected.
Neneh Touray, a representative of Women’s Bureau, underscored the importance of the forum, saying GBV is a term use to describe all harmful practices affecting the wellbeing of women and girls.
she described the awful menace as most common in the country, further refering to studies, which indicated that in the world, 3 out of every 5 women are been violated everyday. The studies, she added, revealed that in The Gambia, issues such as child marriage, FGM and wife beating are very rampant which need to be addressed.
Fatima Gómez, a 14-year old and a member of YPM, revealed that over the years, YPM has embarked on series of advocacies for positive change,.
specially on issues affecting the wellbeing of children in society, using the mass media to advocate child right and protection issues.
Kadijatou Fofana, deputy executive coordinator of YPM, said FGM has become a household issue in The Gambia, thus calling for collective effort to fight against the menace.
by Fatou Gassama