Friday, 27 Nov 2015
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Written by GAMCOTRAP   
Tuesday, 03 November 2015 15:24
GAMCOTRAP Inaugurates New Board of Directors: Chief Yaya Jarjusey takes over as Chairperson from Hon. Sidia Jatta

Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP Dr. Isatou Touray (middle)flanged by Outgoing Chairperson, Honourable Sidia Jatta(left)
and Incoming Chairperson, Chief Yaya Jarjusey (right)

In the bid to maintain and promote democratic principles in the organization, GAMCOTRAP on Tuesday, 20th October 2015 inaugurated it’s new Board of Directors at a ceremony held at its head Office in Kanifing.  The board members are selected based on their commitment to end FGM and core values in promoting the rights of women and children as well as looking into their professions in promoting such values.  In her statement the Executive Director thanked the outgoing board members for their belief and support to the cause of promoting the rights of women and children.  She thanked the outgoing Chairperson Honourable Sidia Jatta for his advice, encouragement, respect and trust he bestowed on the staff.  Dr. Touray noted that Honourable Sidia was always available for briefings and gave his support for the advancement of the organization and the rights of children.  In a similar vein she welcomed the new Chairperson Chief Yaya Harjusey and expressed optimism that he will continue to give his support.  The Executive Director emphasized that the periodic change of board members is in the spirit of promoting democracy and good governance.

Some of the new Board members of GAMCOTRAP
In his farewell statement, Honorable Jatta pledged to continue his support to the new chairperson and expects him and his team to take the organization to higher heights.  He praised the character of Chief Jarjusey and described him as a leader.  He noted that his team stayed longer than necessary due to the situation the organization was and had to be there to overcome the challenges which were huge but surmountable. The outgoing chairperson appreciated the great work of GAMCOTRAP and noted that it was a period no leader wanted to be associated with the FGM campaign and a taboo subject to discuss in public.  Honorable Jatta was proud to be associated with the success of the campaign during his tenure of office and the global recognition of the organization and its leadership.   Members took the opportunity to pray for their colleagues who served the organization but have passed away, including honorable Nyimasata Sanneh and Mariama Jaw.
The current eleven members of the Board of Directors include prominent grassroots women leaders, professionals from the legal sector, finance, health sector, human resource development as well as youth activists.
During the  inauguration and Board meeting, the strategic plan for 2016-2020 was discussed and this document when finalized will be the strategic document that will usher the effective engagement of the current board of directors of which chief Alhagie Yaya Jarjusey is the chairperson to lead the strategic direction for 2016-2020.



Last Updated on Monday, 23 November 2015 20:04
Written by GAMCOTRAP   
Tuesday, 03 November 2015 11:00


GAMCOTRAP wishes to congratulate the entire UN System on the occasion of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of existence. This body consisting of the nation states has contributed a lot to the development of its members, states and communities. It has upheld the principle of equitable development and contributed in advancing progress in various forms in our countries. Through the UN System many countries have been able to fulfill their commitment to the polity and governments can boast of fulfilling their development blueprints because of the technical, financial and economic support they receive from the UN system to fulfill that dream.

Back home in my own context the Gambia, I wish to express special appreciation to the UN System for being there to support the NGO/CSO to compliment the efforts of the Government to advance development. Special appreciation comes from the Women’s Rights Movement for advancing gender equality and promoting women’ rights work all in support of the commitments made by the state. While the state is under obligation to fulfill these commitment it is obvious that it does not have all the resources to finance the work of the NGOs and CSOs. The UN system is here to chip in and provide both technical and financial support. On behalf of the Women’s Rights Movement I wish to register our sincere appreciation for supporting our work.  Thank you for supporting the work which we do to contribute to the efforts of the government of the Gambia to fulfill its obligations towards women and children.

I know that all the agencies in the UN system are engaged with NGOs/CSOs whose mandate falls within their areas of focus to advance development in the Gambia. The support given by the UN System has made it possible for organizations to reach every nooks and corners of the Gambia targeting vulnerable groups to make a difference in their lives.

Madam resident representative from our observations and engagements with the UN System I wish to inform you that your agency has achieved a lot for the Gambia. I wish to acknowledge the work of UNFPA for the great efforts it has made in promoting the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Women and children over the years. We have registered successes among rural communities which are worth noting.
In the Gambia, our area of intervention with the UNFPA has been very professional, transparent, and respectful of the work of communities resulting in trust and success gained over the years. Working with GAMCOTRAP on matters of health especially on sensitive issues like Female Genital Mutilation, early marriage and gender based violence has brought in a lot of progress in empowering women and communities in defending the rights of children. UNFPA is the giant behind the success of the FGM debate but yet very modest about it. It has manifested its professionalism by working within a culturally relevant approach that resonates with the people affected and supporting them to lead the change emanating from such development initiatives. We want to take this occasion to register our appreciation to UNFPA for being there for the women and children of the Gambia.

While a lot has been done there is still more to be done. The enactment of a law on FGM is core in the eradication of FGM in The Gambia.  So we continue to count on the UN System in pursuit of the rights of children, gender equality and development for our communities. I also urge you to support and guide the government of the Gambia to achieve the enactment of a law to protect the innocent girl-children and babies who are subjected to the gruesome practice of FGM.

I wish I was in a position to celebrate you (The UN SYSTEM)
I would give a MEDAL to the entire system
I would acknowledge your contributions financial, social, technical and economic
I would be there for the women and the entire people of the Gambia
May the Institution continue to grow stronger and stronger

Dr. Isatou Touray
Executive Director
22nd October 2015




Last Updated on Saturday, 07 November 2015 03:31
Written by GAMCOTRAP   
Monday, 02 November 2015 13:20








The 2016 One Billion Rising Revolution event is yet another amplification of our voices, building the momentum, escalating the gains, calling for accountability and raising our voices to the injustices taking place worldwide with women’s bodies targeted as the arena of war and violence.  The 2016 revolution is a call for action all over the world, to Listen! Act! Rise! as the tagline. It is about building global solidarity and support to Enlarge!, Deepen!, Expand and Revolutionize our engagements with global patriarchies who are bonding with each other to wage a war on women’s bodies.


In 2015, the theme for the ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE, with the tagline "Drum, Dance & Rise," was a call to focus on revolution and change as an escalation of our demands to end violence against women and girls once and for all.  In 2015, the West Africa Region was faced with an unprecedented circumstance of an epidemic of Ebola a deadly and contagious virus that has its toll on the population. Our efforts have improved the situation in the region as the decision makers have responded to our call and global activism.  This is possible because of the concerted efforts made on various platforms amplifying the voices of those affected. The region is also faced with the resurgence of religious fundamentalisms and in the name of religion young girls and women are violated and abused.  The Boko Haram campaign was #Bring Back Our girls! Some of the abducted girls were released with unwanted pregnancies and traumatized by the abuses they faced on a daily basis. Providing them with their basic needs is proving a nightmare for women’s right organizations. I warn you the atrocities are escalating with BOKOHARAM on a daily basis as women and children are abused.


As indicated by the Human Rights Council thus;


The atrocities committed by Boko Haram have had a critical impact on the human rights situation in Nigeria and at the borders with its neighboring countries in the Lake Chad Basin, namely Cameroon, Chad and Niger”, said UN Human Rights Chief Zeid.


By the time we come to the OBR 2016 the atrocities would have escalated phenomenally beyond borders and in various degrees from Cape to Cairo in Africa, The Gulf, Asia, Europe and beyond. We can no-longer act in isolation but to galvanize our energies in various forms and shapes to cry out loud. We have to call on people to rise for others and not just for ourselves, to get people of privilege and access to power, to rise for those who do not have the opportunity to raise their voices and bring national and international focus on their issues.


The actions of the axis of evil Boko-haram, Al-shabab, ISIS are committing atrocities against women all justified in the name of religion and greed for power.


Let us all take leadership in our various contexts and regions to escalate, amplify our voices and revolutionize our campaigns beyond our borders to save our sisters in Syria, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Congo, Nigeria, Mali, Afganistan and many others around the globe. The migrants who are facing difficulties trying to flee conflicts and abuses are all voices that we need to raise. The mass exodus of young able bodied people searching for better life despite the dangers they face should trigger our conscience to think twice and be introspective of why this is happening. Our leaders must interrogate their conscience, hearts and minds to search for the answers.


ONE BILLION RISING REVOLUTION is an energy, a platform, a global movement, a catalyst, a worldwide decision to end violence against women, a demand for justice, a paradigm shift, an invitation, a gathering of the ready, housed everywhere, housed in our hearts and bodies,  thus makes it your REVOLUTION, our REVOLUTION for all of us.


I urge you in your various regions, groups and organizations to engage constructively with the One Billion Rising Revolution 2016 campaign and join our sisters in Syria facing “Countless atrocities and discrimination. Join our Nigerian sisters to curb the atrocities of BOKO HARAM where more children, women and men have been abducted, abused and forcibly recruited;  and women and girls have been targeted for particularly horrific abuse, including sexual enslavement,” Zeid added. “Villages and towns have been looted and destroyed… and Boko Haram attacks have destroyed or severely damaged at least 300 schools, killed numerous students, and ended with the abduction of hundreds of school girls.” These girls have been reported to be pregnant with very little support to help them. We need to Listen! Act! Rise for them and ourselves!


In Sierra Leone, La Guinea and Liberia the Ebola epidemic took its toll on the population with thousands of women, men and children left dead. The effects of Ebola resulted in stereotypes resulting to negative effects on the population. The population is restricted from travelling.  Let us express their agency and join them in their campaigns to enlarge, expand, deepen, and revolutionize their campaign.


Of course the debate on sexual and reproductive rights is still a challenge for the post 2015 development agenda and women’s rights activists have been engaged in engendering the UN development agenda to take exclusive regards to the SRHR issues which tend to be given a second class attention. Let us amplify our voices and call on others to support the cause of 50% of the world’s population.


Closer to home in the Gambia, girls and women continue to face various forms of violence enforced in the name of deep rooted cultural practices wrongly misconstrued as religious practices.  There is engagement to deepen knowledge, which has enlarged the constituency of the Ex- Circumcisers into a movement to end violence against women in their various regions across The Gambia.   It is time to Listen! Act! Rise for Justice and Revolutionize our campaigns to protect girls and women from the harmful effects of Female Genital Mutilation through legislation and enactment of the law for Minimum Age of Marriage. Whose Bodies Matter? Girls have the right to grow to be women before taking responsibilities of marriage.  This cannot happen without women taking leadership in the protection and promotion of the human rights of girls and women. We must rise against Gender Based Violence and rise for the voiceless along with men who care. The clitoris is a normal organ that needs to be intact and must not be subjected to any harm. Raise your voices for the innocent girls!


La Lutta Continua!!!


Dr. Isatou Touray


One Billion Rising Regional Coordinator and Executive Director, GAMCOTRAP


28th September 2015


Last Updated on Monday, 02 November 2015 13:34
Written by GAMCOTRAP   
Monday, 02 November 2015 13:51

A Gender Sensitive Approach to Ending Discrimination in Politics and Governance

Youth and community representatives from Kantora, Jimara and Fuladu East in the Upper River Region participated at a series of recently concluded training workshops on Promoting Effective Women’s Leadership and Participation in Governance funded by the National Endowment for Democracy – NED.   The three days workshop is focused on accelerating the debates regarding the promotion and effective participation of women in governance and decision making and creating awareness on the gender issues and concerns  to address the gender gaps in governance and decision making processes.   The overall objective is to enhance awareness and consciousness of the public and relevant institutions about the need for women’s participation in governance and decision making processes.

GAMCOTRAP and NCCE team up at Fatoto

The Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP Dr. Isatou Touray informed participants that the project is to promote the rights of women as citizens and to enjoy the right to know their civic rights.   She highlighted the important role young people have to play in the success and development of the country.  She emphasized that before engaging in party politics it is important to know your civic rights and to understand the role of women in politics to promote democracy.  Dr. Touray highlighted the deploring situation of having only five women in the current National Assembly and the need for equal gender representation in development.  She advised that electing representative should be based on their qualification and that education is key in advancing national development within the global forum.  The workshops reiterated the challenges women face when they aspire for political positions and how their personal lives are castigated in the midst of male resistance.  Participants have been enlightened on the need to end gender discrimination, tribal and religious biases and focus of the ability of women as leaders and decision makers.


In his presentation, Yusupha Bojang of the National Council for Civic Education noted that women and youths have to be engaged to focus on development in politics.  He cited the Constitutional provisions that promote democratic governance, freedom of Association and participation of independent candidates in national politics. Mr. Bojang demystified the threats that there are cameras in election booths and made reference to section 39 and section 40 of the Constitution on voting rights and secret ballots.  The NCCE official noted that despite male resistance, he clarified that both men and women can be elected in national elections as long as they are citizens and fulfil  all the requirements for Presidency, National Assembly and  Local Government Councillorship and that it could be a man or a woman.  He cited examples of female leaders in around the world and in the Africa.   He observed that despite the minimum standards laid for both men and women to seek for elective positions, the country should aim for the highest level of education to move the development of the country.   He enlightened them on the role of the National Assembly in scrutinizing and approval of government policies, budget and legislating laws that will be to the best interest of the people.


Resource person, Saikou Fayinke told participants of Basse that national development is for both men and women and noted that the truth can come from anyone despite their gender, age or ethnicity.  Responding to female leadership in Islam, Outass Fayinke said religion is not a barrier to female leadership  and cited historic narrations during which women took leadership in the Muslim world.   He noted that knowledge is key in leadership and said “when a woman is a leader, her responsibility is guided by knowledge.”  He further referred to the Holy Quran to reiterate equality of Muslim men and women; and advised that for development to take place both women and men have to work hard.  Fayinke took the opportunity to advise youths to contribute positively in national development and advised them to seek knowledge, respect the elders and the rights of women and men.   Ba Siakou Darbo reiterated that it is hard work that pays and that religion is not a barrier for women to take leadership and cited several female role models in Islam who had taken leadership roles.


Aja Fatou Danso of Kaba Kama, one of the few female role models of elected village heads called of citizens to appreciate their citizen’s right to vote and be voted and to promote voter education.



Cross-section of participants at Fatoto


Various speakers at Fatoto, Hella Kunda and Basse appreciated the  importance of the project in raising consciousness and awareness of the citizens on their civic rights and women’s leadership.  Participants called for more of such sensitization to raise more awareness about the effective involvement of women in politics.  They emphasized the importance of education for women to effectively participate and to recognize the role of others in the political processes.  It was noted that women have to participate actively  in political processes to change the gender representation and gaps and called for role models amongst educated women. It was recognized that there is greater awareness to have educated people in the National Assembly and encouragement of girls’ education for effective change.  Some appealed to men to desist from using women as only mobilizers because many people never knew that women have the right to vie for political positions such as Presidency and National Assembly.  It was reiterated that information is to empower their people and called on participants to share the knowledge gain so that the right people will be elected in the rights places.  Ebrima Manneh of Koro Jula Kunda said it was the first time for people in his area to know that the constitution provides that women can be leaders from the local level to the presidency.  He said illiteracy has contributed to the ignorance of the people and called for increased awareness raising and advised participants to share the information with their communities.  Some of the female participants appreciated the opportunity to be part of the workshop and the knowledge gained about women’s right to effectively participate in the political processes.  They advised both men and women to support women leaders and to recognize their citizen’s rights. Some participants called for non-discrimination based on gender, age, ethnicity or other differentiations and argued that both men and women have equal intelligence.


Cross-section of participants from Hella Kunda and Basse, URR


Speaking on other women’s concerns Taiye Sanyang of Brikama Kantora appreciated the progress registered in elimination of Female Genital Mutilation and early marriage since they were sensitized in Koina.  Mariama Sanneh of Suduwol noted the importance of the workshop in raising awareness on women’s civic rights and asserted that female leadership is related to peace and progress and the global trend is to promote female leadership.


Speaking at Hella Kunda, The Alkalo of Sare Sankuleh, Sireng Baldeh appreciated the non-partisan and non-violent approach of the workshop in raising awareness for the benefit of all. He recognized that women can and have a positive role to play in development.


Musa Sanneh of Basse thanked National Endowment for Democracy for funding the project and called on young people to be aware of their role in moving development for all.


The three days sensitization in the Upper River Region also included the legal context, promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights and the role of the media in promoting effective participation in governance and leadership.  It also highlighted the challenges for girls to complete their education which affects gender representation at national level thus appealed for educated women to express their interest in politics to gather support. The importance of education and awareness on civil rights and in particular the need to know the constitutional provisions that provide for both men and women as equal citizens was emphasized.  It also brought out the social, cultural and economic challenges in the political processes in the selection and election to female leaders. It could be noted that GAMCOTRAP implemented a similar project in the Greater Banjul Area in 2014.


Prepared by GAMCOTRAP


21st October 2015







Last Updated on Saturday, 07 November 2015 03:50
Written by GAMCOTRAP   
Monday, 02 November 2015 12:50





In preparation for the 2016 Rising Revolution, the “One Billion Rising Revolution 2016” will be launched on the 5th October 2015 at GAMCOTRAP’s headquarters in Kanifing as part of the global launching throughout the world. The theme for 2016 is Listen! Act! Rise for Justice! We urged all to listen deeply to hear the call of women and girls, to make a revolution to end violence against women. Violence against women and girls no matter where it comes from and who instigates it, is crime against humanity and it is a duty for state and its people to take responsibility to end all forms of gender based violence. We can all rise for others and for ourselves by taking leadership in our different walks of life.

For the protection of Women’s Rights and Human dignity, GAMCOTRAP and the One Billion Rising Revolution for justice to end gender based violence are rising to join the rest of the world to ENLARGE, TO DEEPEN, TO EXPAND and TO REVOLUTIONISE. One Billion Rising is a global movement, founded by Eve Ensler, to end rape and other forms of sexual violence against women. It was inspired by revealing UN statistic in 2012 which showed that one in three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime, that equates to One Billion women of the world’s population thus the V-Day initiative of the One Billion Rising Movement. One Billion Rising Revolution is a call for change. Major changes are still needed particularly in ways of thinking and consciousness about violence against women issues. “REVOLUTION” is the most major thing we need, and it allows creative and artistic expressions, multi-sectoral involvement and more importantly- provides a unique space to engage people from all walks of life. It allows the use of imagination, art and political actions, allows everyone the freedom to localize all their campaigns and struggles to end violence against women.

Since 2012, the One Billion Rising campaign culminated in the biggest mass global action to end violence against women ever, with tens of thousands of events in 160 countries had signed up to take part in the campaign. Around 5,000 organizations have joined the campaign. The One Billion Rising movement has enlarged in 200 countries in 2015 including the West African countries of Mali, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Senegal and the Gambia etc.

The One Billion Rising brings in activists from all walks of life, including artists, journalists, communities, grassroots activists, politicians and human rights activists to amplify the voices of the unheard and vulnerable. They rise to see that justice is the guiding principle in the daily affairs of our people and change the perceptions, attitude and practices that promote and perpetuate violence against women and girls.

In the Gambia, the One Billion Rising has its roots in the global movements with historic events celebrated in both rural and urban communities, targeting young people and adult men and women. It could be recalled that the celebrations were held in Kanifing and Soma in 2013, Kanifing in 2014, and the latest was held in Noo kunda in the North Bank Region in 2015.

Local artists extending from traditional Communicators to rap groups have been part of the celebrations over the years and it is expected that many more will join the rising for justice revolution.

The launching in the Gambia is led by GAMCOTRAP and will include a press briefing, viewing of documentaries of how women and men are rising to Say No to Violence. Therefore we ask you to join us RISE! SING! DANCE! Wherever you may be and join the revolution to end Violence Against Women; together as men and women we can rise for change and equality for others. We all have the space to rise in our bodies, our homes, offices, in the media, in our statements and actions. We need a better future for our children, for posterity to judge us positively.


Prepared by GAMCOTRAP











Last Updated on Monday, 02 November 2015 12:57
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