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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Female Circumcision Is Still A Problem In The Badibus

April 20, 2010
By Staff Reporter Maimuna Danso, Banjul

As APGWA/UNFPA Launched Anti FGM Campaign In Njawara

The Association for the Promotion of Girl’s and Women’s Advancement (APGWA) in Collaboration with UNFPA on Saturday 17th April 2010 launched the anti FMG Campaign at the Njawara Agricultural Training Centre in the North Bank Region—with the aim of discouraging the cultural practices which poses a major health risk to the girl child, the Freedom Newspaper can report. 

In her keynote speech at the launching ceremony, Mrs. Binta Jammeh Sidebeh Executive Director APGWA described the North Bank Region especially the Badibous and Niumis as no go areas as far as FGM is concerned. Madam Jammeh noted that FGM is deeply rooted in the Gambia which has a prevalence rate of 80 percent. She says female circumcision is still a problem in this part of the country. 

“Despite numerous efforts by the local and international NGOs the Practice although reduced at some regions, continues in certain regions such as the North Bank Region,” she told the gathering. 

 Mrs Jammeh observed that since the inception of APGWA in 1992 they have conducted workshops and youth camps to create alternative employment opportunities in all the regions in the Gambia. Their goal she said is to eradicate FGM in The Gambia, a country where  circumcisers cite cultural values to justify their actions. She adds that those efforts were frustrated by certain groups that have made it difficult to eradicate the practice at the desired level and percentage.

“With the launching of the project APGWA plans to work with different target groups and stakeholders within the communities using the social mobilization tools and right based approaches,” she said.

She said APGWA from this day hence forth pledges to work with all partners and collaborators in the region and elsewhere to finally eradicate FGM in the region.

“The enactment of a law by the National Assembly to abolish FGM and to criminalize is now imminent,” she noted.

The launching ceremony which was presided over by Hon. Lamin Kebba Jammeh, National Assembly Member for Upper Badibu came on the heels of a five day training of “Ngansinbas” (Circumcisers) and women leaders on the harmful effects of FGM.

In attendance, were National Assembly Members of the region, chiefs and the Alkalo of Njawara Aji Haddy Panneh. They  all vowed to the join the fight to FGM in the area.