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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gambian journalists undergo training on FGM

September 7, 2010 
Afrique en Ligne

Bajul, Gambia -A three-day, capasity-building training on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) for 30 media practitioners across the Gambia fot underway here Friday, PANA reported.

Organized by The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices affecting The Health of Women and Children ((Gamcotrap), with the support of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) joint programme to accelerate the stoppage of FGM, the training is meant to build the capacity of the participants for effective and progressive reporting on the harmful traditional practices and domestic violence.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr. Isatou Touray, executive director of Gamco trap, lauded the crucial role of the media in the efforts to eradicate FGM.

Asserting that the media was paramount in the sensitization and education of the people on the negative implications of FGM and other harmful traditional practices, Touray described the training as a move in the right direction geared towards equipping the media practitioners with the necessary knowledge.

She thanked UNFPA for the collaboration in trying to save the lives of women and children and described their mission as part of national development.

UNFPA representative, Fatou Kinteh, said harmful traditional practices were forms of violence committed against women in certain communities and societies, adding that in some societies, they were considered part of the accepted cultural practices.

This, Kinteh noted, include FGM, early and forced marriages, as well as the various taboos that prevent women from controlling their own fertility.

According to her, these practices can lead to death, disability, physical and ps ychological harm for millions of women annually, adding that harmful traditional practices lead to serious complication on the health of women and children.

Kinteh emphasized that the practice of FGM also violated, among other international human rights laws, the rights of the child to the 'enjoyment of the highest at amiable standard of health,' quoting article 24, paragraphs 1 and 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to back her statement.

On domestic violence, Kinteh lamented that women who form 50 per cent of the world were vulnerable, noting 'if these do not stop, sustainable socio-economic development cannot be achieved.'

Sidia Jatta, chairperson of the Board of Directors of Gamcotrap, tasked the participants to go and educate the masses, emphasizing the important role the media could play in terms of keeping people aware.