The Woman Boss (TWB) in collaboration with United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA) has over the weekend launched ME2@FGM documentary at Paradise Suits Hotel, Kololi, Gambia.
The colorful event attracted women nationwide including TWB school ambassadors, medical practitioners, local women circumcisers, national women leaders, members from the civil society organizations( CSOs) and other activists against Female Genital Mutilation ( FGM) in The Gambia.
The newly launched documentary captured bitter experiences, grave concerns and condemnation of FGM by women across the country.
The Founder of TWB, Awamary Lowe-Khan described Gambian women as courageous and thanked them for stepping forward and shared their pathetic stories in public. And also expressed appreciation for what she referred to as strength and resilience exhibited by those women.
“Me2@FGM is an initiative that gives women the space to share their stories. The women who have stepped forward have not only unveiled the painful realities of FGM but have illuminated the strength within themselves and the collective strength of women,” she disclosed.
She however, urged decision-makers to hear theircollective cry saying “We ask that you listen to the voices that echo with pain and resilience, acknowledging the wounds that are not only physical but also emotional and psychological. We implore you to be the architects of change, to safeguard the rights and dignity of women as their bodies is not subjected to irreversible harm in the name of culture.”
Speaking on behalf of the Minster of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Nenneh Touray, acknowledged the women who painfully shared their scary stories, saying the video will serve as a testament and evidence that women in The Gambia are suffering from a barbaric act in disguise of promoting culture.
“These various information from the women needs to be shared in different groups such as the CSOs, NGOs and equally to the government so that the wellbeing of young girls and women will be safeguarded their plight will be recognized and their lives will as well be protected,” she emphasized.
Madam Touray is of the opinion that no development will take place where gender- based violence is persistent as women are also partners in national development.
Highlighting the health implications of FGM, Dr. Babading Daffeh of Kanifing General Hospital revealed that FGM is a painful process that many Gambian women had experienced without the use of Anastacia and sterilized tools by local circumcisers during circumcision.
“FGM has both the short and long term complications as it involves type 1, 2, 3 and 4. These various types have their own effects because the deeper the cutting of the clitoris the dangerous the effect occur,” Dr. Daffehnarrated.
He analyzed that when the clitoris is deeply or wrongly cut, it can lead to sudden death, complications in child birth, continuous bleeding, unpleasable sex and other health related complications.
“Unsterile tools in FGM process can lead to serious infections such as HIV/AIDs and Fistula,” he said.
He ascertained that FGM is a women’s right violation against the wish and consent of prospect initiates. Therefore, Dr Daffeh called on all and sundry to obey the existing law and report anyone engaging in FGM practice.