Gamcotrap Trains Over 300 Youth in West Coast Region

Dr Isatou Touray, executive director of GAMCOTRAP
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices (Gamcotrap) over the weekend wrapped up three day training on information campaign on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) for over three hundred youth drawn from Kombo Central, North, East and the Fonis.
Addressing the participants in Sukuta, Wellingara and at the Gamcotrap conference hall respectively, Dr. Isatou Touray Executive Director Gamcotrap said the purpose of the training is to provide first hand information on FGM saying that her office is open to the young people at any given time.
She further urged the youth of West Coast Region to fight against the effects of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in communities as it affects women, emphasising that it is not an Islamic injunction.  
 “As knowledge is power, it is incumbent on everyone to seek knowledge in order to be sentient with something that is not known to you before.”
She urged the young people to engage members of their communities in dialogue and be indicative at their communities to eradicate this crucial violence.
Imam Baba Leigh Gamcotrap Islamic adviser told the participants to be focus and disseminate the knowledge gained from the training to the others who are not opportune enough to be part of the training.
 ‘’FGM is not an Islamic injunction and there is no verse in the holy Quran that states that it is an Islamic obligation,’’ he said.  
Imam Leigh therefore called on the young people to take the lead role in the abolition of FGM in their communities as agents of change.  
Amie Bojang Sissoho, Omar Dibba, Mary Small of Gamcotrap and Dembo Kambi Youth Governor West Coast Region re-echoed similar remarks.  
Oustass Muhammad Sannoh said that this form of gender-based violence is manifested in various parts of the country where religion is used as the basis for assaulting women and children.
He added that it is manifests in social pressure mobilised by religious conservatives. Several attacks on women are carried out in the name of ‘Jihad’ and the so-called ‘morality issue’.
He noted that the vulnerability of women to violence is linked to their age and evolving capacity.
“Some women, because of gender, race, ethnic origin, disability or social status, are particularly vulnerable. Women have the rights to express their views, and to have these views taken into account in the implementation of policies and decisions,” he said.
He further noted that Allah brought the Islamic religion to eradicate discrimination and violence in the world.
“Female circumcision is not written in the holy Quran,” he said.
He revealed that prophet Ebrima was with his wife Sarata for a long period of time could not bear any child for him.
“Ebrima decided to marriage his slave, and that slave started to bear children for the prophet. Sarata was so jealous and decided to nip the slave eyes and circumcised her.”
He further revealed that prophet Muhammad (SAW) went to a woman circumciser in Medina and told her that I heard that you are a circumciser; even if you cut limit it.
The Alkalo of Wellingara Babou Ndure tasked the young people to be committed to the campaign.
He told them that the training is indeed timely and welcoming as it will dilate on the health of the people more especially women and the girl child.
Author: Modou S. Jallow

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