Tuesday, January 31

Shine Light in Girls Education trains stakeholders on FGM

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By Nicholas Bass

Shine Light in Girls Education on the 23rd November 2022 held a daylong training for the stakeholders on gender based-violence, FGM/C, and early marriage at the Joint Operation Center, Brusubi

Speaking at the training, Mr Alasana Gitteh, a lecturer at the University of The Gambia pointed out some of the violations against female children during circumcision and stated that most of the circumcised girls undergo severe bleeding, psychological distress, and painful childbirth that sometimes results to death of unborn babies.

“However, African parents are still ignorant of the negative impact of female genital mutilation due to cultural and religious factors that do not correspond with the child protection Act while even forcing their child into early marriage.

Despite their resilience in these inhuman practices against the girl child, he said they should examine its negative impact on the youthful population.

During circumcision, he explained the girl child’s clitoris is removed which caused severe bleeding, painful sex, and painful birth which sometimes results in the operation and can cause the death of unborn babies.

“Traditional women that are circumcisers are untrained and they used unsterilized cutting materials for a large group of girls that have violated their rights when it comes to sexual activities, marriage, and comfort. Should we continue to see our girls being enslaved through circumcision because of our cultural and religious beliefs that are destroying lives?” he asked.

Mr. Ebrima Fadera, the president of Shine Light in Girls Education noted that FGM is a mental concept that should be solved through meaningful communication without violence against the perpetrators through the judiciary means.

“We believe FGM is a mental concept that we must solve through meaningful communication with victims and perpetrators. But it will be difficult to stop FGM by punishing such perpetrators through the law. It is a passion in me to continue engaging our societies in meaningful communication and we hope to stop FGM in 2030,” he noted.

He went on to disclose that Shine Light in Girls Education is sponsoring needy girls in their education and they are supporting women through animal rearing and micro-financial project for women.

Kebba Fande one of the participants from Kuloro village in Kombo East District stated that FGM is a violation of females’ rights which should not be ignored by society while perpetrators of FGM should be prosecuted by law.

Detective Couple Tida 5076 Tida Colley at the Brikama Police Station under the child protection Unit said her office is collaborating with Social Welfare and Child Protection Welfare Unit to take perpetrators into account. She revealed that most parents are encouraging early child marriage due to cultural and religious beliefs which should stop. She said it is unlawful adding that perpetrators of FGM and child marriage if caught will face the full force of the law.

Isatou Tamba from Mandinaba Village stated that most parents are encouraging FGM as a means of controlling the rate of teenage pregnancy which is resulting in early child marriage.