By Ramatoulie Jawo
In line with their commitment to mark the 16 Days of Activism this year, centered around the theme “Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls,” The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in The Gambia, along with partners, conducted a training session on Monday for 25 journalists. The focus of the training was on enhancing their understanding and reporting skills in the areas of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH).
The objective of this capacity-building training was to harness the influence of key global normative and advocacy platforms. The aim is to generate momentum and unite collective efforts in the ongoing campaign to prevent violence against women.
This year, the UNFPA country office has dedicated its efforts to addressing Gender-Based Violence (GBV), particularly amidst the current discussions surrounding Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) and the looming possibility of repealing the law prohibiting FGM in the country.
UNFPA’s Mbasireh Saidybah, as the Program Analyst for Partnership and Advocacy, underscored the pivotal role of the media in educating and informing the public about Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
“You have the power to inform and educate the public on complex issues through in-depth reporting. You provide context, background, and analysis influencing public understandings and opinions; your work is very much at the core of what UNFPA does, which is behavioral change and communication,” she told the Journalists.
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Saidybah emphasized that their mission stands out as the most challenging among all UN agencies. She explained that their focus revolves around addressing topics that often go unspoken, such as Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH).
“So we want to invite you today against this backdrop so that you can work with us in shaping the narrative constructively and sensitively,” she said.
She went on to urge all attendees to seize the chance for in-depth discussions with the facilitators.
Dr. Babanding Daffeh highlighted the health complications and repercussions associated with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), emphasizing the significant suffering that many women endure during childbirth.
“Some of these procedures of FGM are done by people who do not go under any medical training, and they did not know the complications associated with it,” he said.
Dr. Daffeh highlighted that the problem of FGM remains widespread in society, as it is now carried out discreetly. He asserted that individuals are not bringing the issue to the attention of the appropriate authorities.
“I am telling the people that the complications is very huge from my experience. From what I saw, I believe that people should be very careful, especially those who don’t have experience they should not cut any Female Genital,” he advised.
The purpose of the UNFPA training is to enhance collaboration with media organizations and social media influencers, providing them with the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively and sensitively communicate the hazards associated with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).