By Nicholas Bass
Shine Light in Girls’ Education – The Gambia and its German partners, on Thursday, 13th October 2022 held a daylong training for twenty women on female genital mutilation.
The training was held at the Joint Operation Center, Bijilo, and the participants were selected across the West Cross Region. The theme for the training was Free The Gambia Female Genital Mutilation and Control Female Genital Practice by 2030.
Mrs.Halimatou Jallow Jesuorobo, a senior nursing Officer from the Ministry of Health highlighted the negative impacts of female genital mutilation on the girl child after circumcision and during her marriage.
She explained the pains that circumcised females undergo which include serious injuries on their genital parts that always result in bleeding, fever, shock, and death.
Among the different types of FGM she named included clitoridectomy, excision, infibulation, and piercing or stretching the clitoris or labia minora. She added that most of the circumcised females face painful menses, painful sex, infertility, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and complications during childbirth which lead to high death of newly born babies.
“FGM has no benefits instead it causes harm and malfunction of women in her sexuality “, Mrs Jallow stated. She advised the participants to stop FGM and he urged them to organize crusades against FGM.
She further stated that most women are adopting the practice of sealing the clitoris of girls to avoid early pregnancies which have caused many girls to face health complications ranging from divorce, infertility, and difficulties in childbirth which resulted in the death of babies.
Mr. Lamin Njie Fadera the president of the association noted that they are working hard to support girls to attain the quality education and to deal with the challenges girls are facing that include FGM.
“We aim to create a micro-financial service for the participants which will enable them to support themselves in the fight against FGM,“ he noted.
He added that the association is aimed at stopping FGM by 2030 and they are recently working with people in the Lower River, Central River Region, and West Coast Regions where most of the girls are victims of FGM, and “we were able to sponsor 66 girls in different schools across The Gambia.
“We are focusing on sponsoring those girls from single-parent families, orphans, and girls of widows,” Lamin Njie Fadera noted.
Mama Kumba Manneh one of the participants from Giboro Village stated that FGM has reduced in her Village saying “most of the women were ignorant of its negative impacts which have made them circumcise their children but now they have put their knives down to end FGM in The Gambia.” BintouJammeh of Mandinaba also made a similar statement.
Nuha F. Korta, the legal adviser of the association cautioned the participants to stop FGM for it is not in the interest of the girls before citing section 3 of the Children’s Act. He added that section 27 of the Criminal Procedure Court shall prosecute parties to a crime before a legal regarding FGM.