Focus on gender based violence
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The Gambia Family Planning Association (GFPA) in collaboration with strategic partners (Police, CPA, Social Welfare, RVTH and Gamcotrap), on Tuesday, held a meeting on developing a referral protocol on the management of gender based violence.
According to Haddy Mboge Barrow, programme officer, GFPA, the GFPA approach to gender is cognisant of the importance of addressing and responding to the potential constraining factors with respect to men and women accessing Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services. She added that its linkage with the advocacy and IEC/BCC seeks to influence and transform the socio-cultural and legal environment.
"By undertaking a gender analysis, we would be asking critical questions about the systematic similarities and differences in conditions and positions of women/girls versus men/boy in order to access SRH services, so as to determine the appropriate interventions to address gender imbalances," she said.
Madam Barrow noted that the gender right services (GRS) integration model seeks to move women from previous positions, where they were regarded as 'instruments' for population control, to being regarded as full persons who can make decisions and changes on their own as the new approach considers both women and men as decision makers for their choices in SRH.
According to Madam Barrow, most reproductive health clinics do not visualise men as potential clients and thus design their services focusing on women only, resulting to low male utilisation of the services.
For her part, Amie Bojang Sissoho of Gamcotrap said most of the complaints received from victims are women. According to her, most of the gender violence cases have no legal assistance.
"[In] issues like violence cases, we need statistics before advocacy. That is, we find out where the violence occur mostly, what causes it and who are the victims and we also need public debates and dialogue on these issues," she concluded.
Author: by Asanatou Bojang