The Women’s Bureau, with funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), over the weekend organised a two-day sensitisation forum on the 2015 revised edition of the amended Women’s Act for stakeholders drawn across the Lower River Region.
The Forum, held at the Kaira Konko Scout Headquarters in Jarra Soma, was attended by District Chiefs, District Tribunal Court members, Badge Messengers, Lady Councilors, as well as Women Federation District Presidents and Members of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Region.
In her welcoming remarks, Fatou Sey, the Assistant Director of Training at Women’s Bureau explained that the forum is part of a nationwide activity designed to reach out to stakeholders especially those at the grassroots with the objective to expose and inform them about the content and the context of the Act prohibiting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in The Gambia.
“Our President His Excellency had earlier on made a proclamation to ban the practice of FGM with laws to prohibit the practice in The Gambia and towards that development the Women’s Act has been amended by the National Assembly in 2015. The amended edition of the revised Act now prohibits the practice of FGM, thus the need for us to come down to the regional level to help and enlighten the general public towards that effect,” she affirmed.
Salifu Puye, the Governor of the Region, commended the Women’s Bureau for the initiative. He described the sensitisation as timely and important, noting that it is all geared towards protecting the rights and welfare of Gambian women.
Governor Puye went on to challenge participants to listen keenly and participate fully so as to enable them get a better understanding of the topic. He further encouraged them to share the knowledge gained from the forum to the wider community in the interest of nation building.
Dawda Jallow, a lawyer by profession, who served as the resource person for the forum, explained that the Act has now been revised and that section 32A prohibits the practice of FGM in all its forms in The Gambia.
“Any person who engage in FGM commits an offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of three years with a fine of D50,000 or both. Where the practice causes death, the penalty for that carries life imprisonment,” he told the gathering.
by Salifu M. Touray in LRR