Guardian, partners accelerate efforts aim at ending FGM in Gambia

Jaha Dukureh

Jaha Dukureh

The Guardian Media Campaign Academy, in partnership with Safe Hands for Girls and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), are to start a five-day training to introduce journalist and young activists across the country to new media tools they can use in creating awareness on the ills of Female Genital Mutilation in the Gambian society.

The training which kicks off tomorrow at the Paradise Suites Hotel is expected to end on November 20, day slated for a graduation ceremony, while the departure date is set at 21.

Founded by Jaha Dukureh who also serves as the organisation’s executive director, The Safe Hands for Girls is a local NGO that fights against FGM and other traditional harmful practices against women in the country.

The organization has recently held a workshop in partnership with The Girls Generation where they had trained young activists on how to use ‘new media tools’ in accelerating their campaign against FGM.

With more intensity in the rural areas, FGM is still widespread in The Gambia with an overall prevalence rate, between women age 15-49, of 75%, according to the country’s Demographic Health Survey released barely two months ago.

Meanwhile, the Guardian Media Academy has jointly, with Safe Hands for Girls, also held an FGM awareness workshop with dozens of Gambian journalists some couple of months ago at the Kairaba beach hotel.

Gambisara-born Jaha Dukureh was a victim of FGM and child marriage, traditional practices she today battles to end in The Gambia.

The fight against FGM, child marriage and other traditional practices that affects women in the country has seen decades of battle and yet with mix results.

However, many analysts believe, with the coming of many young people into the struggle in the country, there might be an unexpected turn in how women’s sexual and reproductive health are being controlled by the society.

“I believe, as young people, there is more that we can do and it is our moral obligation to end FGM in our generation,” Jaha said, last week, as she addressed young activists at the opening of a one-day workshop at the Paradise Suite hotel

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