HOW KNIFE DROPPING EMPOWERS GAMBIAN GIRLS
By Sarata Jabbi-Dibba
(L)Activists prefer initiation to genital mutilation/Gamcotrap (R) Dr. Touray & Bojang lead the fight against FGM/Gamcotrap
The massive dropping of knife by circumcisors is a significant development in the fight to eradicate the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This recent development, the fruits of the hard work of the Gambia Committee against Traditional Harmful Practices (GAMCOTRAP), deserves to be celebrated.
For Release on the 8th April 2013
GAMCOTRAP Celebrates 4th Dropping of the Knife Ceremony in The Gambia
The 1st Public Declaration in the Central River Region-North of The Gambia.
The sustained advocacy to bring an end to FGM is registering positive change in the lives of girls. The Cluster Approach in addressing FGM has created greater level of awareness in the Gambia working with various target groups in the cluster communities. This has resulted to the Dropping of the Knife, a public declaration by Circumcisers and their communities in the Gambia. In 2010, GAMCOTRAP focused its attention to the Central River Region North for the campaign to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation through the Rights Based Approach and grassroots mobilization using the Cluster Approach.
Dr Isatou Touray is Guest Speaker at the Gender Institute of the London School of Economics
The Gender Institute at the London School of Economics on the 18th March organized a public event to explore the Politics of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP, Dr. Isatou Touray was guest speaker at the event held at New Theatre, East building with a capacity 240 people.
Report on One Billion Rising Gambia 2013
Change can only occur when people engage in addressing the injustices that happen to them. The One Billion Rising is one example of this great initiative which weaved the whole into one to raise their voices against violence against women. GAMCOTRAP did it with all of you in unity which gave the event strength and importance. Our appreciation goes to all those who have participated in this great event in the Gambia. GAMCOTRAP staff and volunteers wish to specifically express appreciation to the rural women and men, and the youth fraternity. To the Child Protection Alliance (CPA), Female Lawyers Association of the Gambia (FLAG), Network of People with Disability, Women’s Rights Organisations, Think Young Women, The Security Forces, The Media Fraternity, TANGO, The facilitators and individuals who made this a reality.
Update on Roadmap to One Billion Rising, 14th February 2013 the Gambia
Gambians Rising on International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM
This year V- Day is supporting GAMCOTRAP to reach out to Community and Opinion leaders in the Kanifing Municipality on February 6th. This is part of the worldwide movement led by Eve Ensler to say No to Violence Against Women and to bring attention to the one billion women who suffer different forms of violence. Zero Tolerance this year will be a prelude to V-Day on the 14th February 2013 when One Billion women and men will be rising as survivors of violence who have taken the courage to say No to Violence Against Women.
ONE BILLION RISING: The Gambia
GAMCOTRAP JOINS GLOBAL CAMPAIGN - ONE BILLION RISING - TO STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS
February 14, 2013 to be V-Day’s Largest Day of Action Ever
On the 6th February, 2013, at 9:30, GAMCOTRAP will join with activists around the world for ONE BILLION RISING, the largest day of action in the history of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls.
ONE BILLION RISING began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On February 14, 2013, V-Day’s 15thanniversary, GAMCOTRAP will join activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities, and women and men across the world as we express their outrage, demand change, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women.
ARTICLES & STORIES
22nd November 2012
GAMCOTRAP: AN END TO A LONG JOURNEY FOR JUSTICE!
L-R: Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho
We give thanks and appreciation to Almighty Allah Subhanahu watalla, our families, friends, partners and well wishers for being with us all through this tribulation that Allah has bestowed upon us. We give glory to the highest, the king of Kings, Giver and Reckoner of who does what. The Lord Almighty has redeemed us from all darkness and brought the light to the public that we are not guilty of the false allegation. Read more
12th November 2012
GAMCOTRAP DUO FREED OF ALL CHARGES!!
The Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP Dr. Isatou Touray and Programme Coordinator Amie Bojang-Sissoho have been freed by Taiwo Ade Alagbe of the Banjul Magistrate Court of two counts - theft and fraud of thirty thousand Euros from Yolocamba Solidaridad.
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7th November 2012
GAMCOTRAP Commends UN for taking the FGM Campaign Further
A draft resolution called “Intensifying global efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilation” was recently put up for discussion at the UN General Assembly by the African Group at the UN.
The Resolution calls for a holistic approach to ending FGM, with many of the points based on recommendations made by the Commission on the Status of Women and the Secretary General’s report.
The Resolution also notes “deep concern” that despite increased efforts, prevalence remains high and that a tremendous gap in resources exists. Read more in PDF
1st November 2012
The Central River Region North of the Gambia is Poised to Protect Girls from FGM
Under the support of the UNFPA Gambia Government Country Programme 2012, four hundred and fifty –seven (457) participants from one hundred and Seven (107) communities in the Central River Region North have benefitted from a series of training programmes. The programme targeted Women Leaders, Women of Reproductive Age and male and female Youths hosted in nine Cluster Villages namely Janjanbureh, Nyoro Tukulorr, Njau Sey Kunda, Dobo, Kuntaur, Jahaur, Wassu, Banni and Kaur. Read more
Date: 30th October 2012
His Excellency, The President
Sheikh Professor, Alhajie Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh
Office of The President
GAMCOTRAP PLEADS ON BEHALF OF FEMALE PRISONERS FOR A PARDON
GAMCOTRAP wishes to appreciate your kind and magnanimous gesture during the holy month of EID EL ADHA in giving praise and blessing to the Gambian polity and all Muslims in particular. GAMCOTRAP wishes to also thank you and appreciate your kind gesture towards the release of prisoners who you have pardoned. Read more
31st October 2012
Gambians Signing Up for the One Billion Rising in Africa
GAMCOTRAP has mobilized individuals from Nineteen (19) organizations/ institutions working to promote the rights of women and children in the Gambia. They were briefed on the initiative on the One Billion Rising pioneered by V-Day and the Africa Regional meeting held in Nairobi. They were requested to reflect on any of the forms of violence against women just because she as a vagina, whether it is Female genital Mutilation, early and Forced Marriage, Rape and sexual abuse, denial of education, etc. They signed up to the One Billion Rising because they want to rise up and say no to violence against women and girls. Read more
GAMCOTRAP Participates in a Regional Symposium to Combat Hate Speech
GAMCOTAP Senior officials attended in a Regional Symposium on combating extremism and Hate Speech in Africa while protecting Freedom of Expression” in Saly, Senegal, from 3-4th October 2012. Human rights advocates, activists, free expression, media regulators women’s rights organizations, legal experts and government institutions took part in the meeting. The two day Symposium was led and attended by three UN Special Rapporteurs namely, Mr Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Mr. Alexey Avtonomov, Chair, UN Committee for the Eradication of Racial Discrimination and Dr. Diogene Bideri, Principal Legal Adviser, Africa Regional Committee on the Prevention of Genocide. They gave keynote addresses on ‘the UN Perspectives on hate speech’. This symposium gave opportunity to Human Rights Activists working in Africa a better understanding of Hate Speech, the challenges it poses to human rights works and how to curb it; and share legal cases from different regions of Africa. Media experts also shared case studies of hate speech in their media houses. Read more.
The Gambian Voices amongst the One Billion Rising to
Say No to Violence Against Women
Most women and girls in Gambian society have been brought up to accept that being a woman is a weakness and femininity is for male pleasure. Women and girls are socialized to accept such myths and they are reinforced in the sayings amongst different ethnic languages. For instance in Mandinka, ‘Musuya mu nasoo leti’ meaning womanhood is about being vulnerable, lesser ability and limited capability and weakness. Some will force women to accept that womanhood is about suffering engraved in the social psyche that ‘musuya mu bataleti’ – ‘womanhood is about suffering’ has enforced the taboo of silence over sex, sexuality and reproductive health issues affecting women in particular. Read more
Synopsis of the V- Africa Summit: One Billion Rising to End Violence Against Women in Africa
Everyday a girl child or a woman is crying because of the pain she is going through. She has been betrayed by the adults she trusted most, the one she loved and believed in. Nobody seems to hear her cry, noticed that she is sobbing from a deep emotional lost. She has lost hope in life. She is not safe at home, on the street, in the institution or society at large. She has been labelled, her image tarnished, she has been silenced, yet no one seems to care about the perpetrators. It is the plight of girls and women in such situations that is a concern for many women’s rights activists and young girls who have found their voices and are Rising and speaking out to put an end to violence against women. Read more.
GAMCOTRAP WORKING PAPER No.1
GENDER IN THE GAMBIA IN RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT
This Working Paper provides an overview of gender in The Gambia, tracing
changes in gender roles and relations in the past few decades, and identifying
key outstanding barriers to gender equality in the 21st century. Prefaced by a
brief review of quantitative gender indicators which reveal something of the
character of gender in contemporary Gambian society and how The Gambia
fares relative to other countries in the world, the paper is organised around
three main sections: education and the economy, family and society, and
policy and politics.
Click on the pdf link below for the full Working Paper.
Chant & Touray, GAMCOTRAP WORKING PAPER No1, Sylvia's August 2012 version in pdf
GFPA Youth Action Movement
All Girls Day
Statement on Violence Against Women
According to the (UN General Assembly 48/104) Violence Against Women is “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty whether occurring in public or private.”
27th September 2012
More Women fom the Kombos, in the West Coast Region
Pledge to protect their daughters from FGM
Women Leaders and Traditional Communicators at Mandinary
Over two hundred participants have benefited from a series of training workshops targeted at traditional communicators and women of reproductive age from the Kombo in the West Coast Region of the Gambia. Save the Children International and UN Women have continued to support GAMCOTRAP to reach out to communities and raise awareness on the harmful effects of female genital mutilation, early and forced marriages and other forms of violence against women. During the series of sensitization trainings, thirty-four Kabilos in Mandinary, Jabang, Jambanjelly and Jambur were engaged to create awareness among them in the bid to protect girls and women from the harmful effects of FGM in particular. Read more
16th August 2012
Activist Imam Receives Award in United States
GAMCOTRAP wishes to take this opportunity to thank the Rhodes Island Gambian American community, Dairatul Abraar for recognizing the contributions of Imam Baba Leigh in promoting women’s rights in Islam. Imam Leigh was presented with the Rhodes Island Gambian Community Recognition Award, May 26th, 2012.
Identity and social affiliation is a strong part of human existence. It matters how people identify you but most importantly how you identify yourself. Identity can be fluid depending where one is. Read more
7th August 2012
Second batch of Circumcisers from CRRN received capacity building training as well as support for their alternatives income generating activities
The efforts to protect girls and women from the harmful effects of Female Genital Mutilation in the Gambia continued in the Central River Region North. The second batch of Circumcisers has undergone a three day training to build their capacity on Alternative Employment Opportunities – AEO. Twelve Circumcisers from Sami, Niani and Upper Saloum Districts have each received five thousand (GMD5000.00) for the alternative incoming generating activities they have identified during the feasibility study conducted with them.
Second batch of Circumcisers in CRR North received the support for AEO
ARTICLES AND STORIES
25th July 2012
GAMCOTRAP Hounours Surrogate Mother in the Central River Region
Janjanbureh a historic town and administrative head of the Central River Region is home to cultural protagonist and well known women’s leader, Aja Babung Sidibeh. Having interacted with GAMCOTRAP through its intervention in the region to eliminate FGM, She has been honoured as surrogate mother to the organization. The objective is to demonstrate that GAMCOTRAP respects the positive cultural practices that promote social cohesion and solidarity among he communities. The honouring ceremony is to recognize the context that mothers care, support and protect their children as well as guide them to the right direction and path. Read more
24th July 2012
GAMCOTRAP through UNFPA Joint Programme gives AEO support Circumcisers in the Central River Region North
GAMCOTRAP under the UNFPA Joint Programme will support twenty-five (25) Circumcisers discovered in the Central River Region North of the Gambia.
The first batch of eleven Circumcisers in Sami, Niani and Janjanbureh districts in the Central River Region North have received support to engage in alternative employment opportunities they have identified as their source of livelihood. GAMCOTRAP presented five thousand Dalasis to each of the Circumcisers in their communities witnessed by Alkalolu, Women leaders and family members. It is part of the UNFPA joint Programme Country to Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation in the Gambia. Read more
A Burning Activist in the Horizon
GAMCOTRAP Congratulates you on your Award
The patriarchal nature of society seriously limits women’s active and meaningful participation in decision-making at all levels and thus renders countless number of women powerless and voiceless. This generation of young women take opportunities and liberties for granted most of the time. However, young women are gradually having a clear understanding of the way their lives are different from young men- “the double standards.”
Such consciousness needs to be translated into action that leads to a consensus that the new generation of young women leaders to build on the work of those who came before them. Read more
Pride of Gambia Women in the Diaspora:
Ndey Jobarteh Winner of the Top Ten Immigrants Award 2011
The Gambia yet proud of another of its great daughters, who have spent their life to make a difference and break way from stereotypes often associated to women in general and in particular Gambia women abroad. Modest in her outlook, Ndey have strived to make a difference while she pursues opportunities that come her way. Her focus on who she is in the midst of global identities and promotion of interrelations and interdependency to move humanity forward are qualities that have won her recognition amongst African Women in the Diaspora and Gambians in Norway in particular. Focussed on her work and respect for human rights and belief in democracy allows her to relates to people across boundaries. Read more
Farewell to the Deputy Chief of Mission, H.E Cindy Gregg
GAMCOTRAP celebrates her contributions to Women’s Rights in the Gambia
In January 2010, The Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in the Gambia Her Excellency Cynthia F. Gregg fondly called Cindy during her services in the Gambia built a bridge between diplomacy and activism. She melted the ice and made women’s rights activists appreciate that the world is watching their efforts to protect the rights of women and children. Read more
Date: JULY 2012
More Religious Leaders from the Kombos declare that
Female Genital Mutilation is not an Islamic Obligation
A training workshop targeted at fifty religious leaders from the Kombos was attended by Imams, Deputy Imams, Scholars, Teachers and Preachers on Islam from fifteen Communities in the Kombos, Islamic networks and organizations. GAMCOTRAP continues to reach out to Religious Leaders in a bid to raise their consciousness on sexual and reproductive health and rights issues with support of Save the Children Sweden and UN Women. Read more
Date: June 2012
Upper Saloum Communities benefit from campaign to stop FGM and GBV
As GAMCOTRAP reaches out to more Communities in CRR North, More Circumcisers are pledging to drop their knives
Fifty five Communities in Jareng Kerr Mamud, Panchang and Fass Clusters in Upper Saloum benefitted from a series of community sensitization campaign to eradicate FGM and gender based violence in the Central River Region North. Over one hundred and fifty participants in Upper Saloum district were reached during the training targeted at community leaders. This is part of a series of UNFPA funded project for 2012 in which GAMCOTRAP has been engaging different communities in the region towards the eradication of FGM and other forms of gender based violence. Read more..
Date: May 2012
Cultural Protagonist Supports the Eradication of FGM in the Central River Region
The power of information using the local languages to change perceptions and attitudes continues to give prominence to the work of the GAMCOTRAP in the Central River Region. Under the auspices and support of the UNFPA joint programme, twenty-five (25) Community Based Facilitators from the Central River Region North benefitted from a three day capacity building workshop to engage in community sensitization and mobilization to protect girls from Female Genital Mutilation. Read more.
DATE: May 2012
GAMCOTRAP Pays Tribute to
H.E Pamela White
H.E Ambassador Pamela Ann White in the Gambia 2010-2012
It all started just over four decades ago, in 1971. She decided to work with people as a Peace Corp Volunteer in a small village where there was no access to electricity, running water, and no one spoke English. She denied herself the luxury of using a washing machine do her laundry instead washed her clothes in the river, just like most of the women do in most deprived areas in Africa. Read more.
GAMCOTRAP Executive Director Participates in the 56th session of the
Commission on the Status of Women
The Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP Dr. Isatou Touray who is also the Secretary General of the Inter-Africa Committee on Traditional Practices attended high-level parallel events during the 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York. Read more
Speech by GAMCOTRAP Programme Coordinator, Amie Bojang-Sissoho on
International Women’s Day March 2012
Topic: Female Genital Mutilation in the Context of Women’s Rights in the Gambia
All protocols respectfully observed
First of all let us all embrace someone next to us to celebrate the contribution of women in making us who we are today. Read more
Date: March 2012
GAMCOTRAP engages to Celebrate International Women’s Day 2012
“Good Morning Gambia” host Aisha Keita of Unique FM talks to Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP, Dr. Isatou Touray to celebrate International Women’s Day. Dr. Touray made her view known on different women’s rights issues to inspire young girls.
Bernadeth Sanneh of GRTS (Radio) moderated a panel of one hour live and recorded another half an hour to mark IWD, 8th March 2012. GAMCOTRAP Programme Coordinator, Amie Bojang-Sissoho was one of the guests invited to talk on the theme ‘Empowering Grassroots women, Eradicating Poverty and Inspiring Girls” in Mandinka and Wollof. Read more..
Date: March 2012
As First NGO Week 2012 Wraps up GAMCOTRAP Grabs Award Certificates
A well kept secret amongst the Non State Actors Strengthening Programme was who they would recognize at the First NGO week Award night. The event was organized by The Association of Non Governmental Organizations in the Gambia – TANGO at the end of a week-long exhibition and Panel discussions on different thematic areas of development and NGO engagements. Recognizing the important role of NGOs in the socio-economic and political development of the Gambia, TANGO provided for its seventy-three members to showcase their work throughout the NGO week – 11th – 17th February 2012. Read more..
Date: 2nd February 2012
Press Release on Zero Tolerance to FGM Day, 6th February 2012
The United Nations sets aside 6th February as a day to globally recognize the need to protect girls and women from all forms of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) dubbed “International Zero Tolerance to FGM Day”. Since the year 2003, members of a Regional body leading the campaign in Africa, known as The Inter Africa Committee on Traditional Practices (IAC) have been celebrating this Political commitment to protect girl children and women. Read more..
Welcome Remarks by Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP on the occasion of the celebration of the Day on February 6th, 2012.
GAMCOTRAP was established in 1984 following a conference in Dakar where African women discussed issues affecting their rights such as harmful traditional practices.
GAMCOTRAP is a non-governmental organisation registered with the Attorney General's Chamber. The NGO Affairs Agency and the Association for non-governmental Oganisations (TANGO). It is affiliated to the Inter-Africa Committee (IAC) on Traditional practices... Read more
SUMMARY OF ACTIVITY REPORTS
This report is an overview of the activities of GAMCOTRAP for the year 2006. It outlines the activities and captures reactions from participants of various activities. GAMCOTRAP ‘s efforts to create awareness readers about FGM and VAW as well as other engagements to build alliances and networking within the Gambia and... Read more
STAFF VOLUNTEERS PROFILE
Membership of the organisation is open to all persons who subscribe to the objectives of the organisation without discrimination as to race, religion, political conviction or any other differentiation... Read more
LAND MARK EVENTS
GAMCOTRAP is one of the oldest women’s rights NGOs in the Gambia. It was established in 1984 and has worked tremendously to protect the rights of women and children, fight against harmful traditional practices as well as promote the sexual and reproductive health rights of women and children. It has gone through daunting challenges to demonstrate women’s leadership in all spheres of development particularly in promoting the rights of women and children. Its mission is to ensure that women’s voices are heard loud and clear about issues affecting their lives. The fact that women are citizens and have the right to resources has not only affected women farmers who need to own land as a strategic resource but also activist organizations like GAMCOTRAP. Read more
GAMCOTRAP engages in the publications of materials on various socio cultural and Gender issues as well as on sexual and reproductive health for adolescent youths and women of reproductive age. Some of these publications are research materials while others are manuals use for the organizations training activities... Read more