Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Women rights group, Wassu Kafo Gambia, in collaboration with partners, Wednesday commemorated Intentional Day Of Zero Tolerance on female genital mutilation (FGM), an official source said here.
It aimed to improve girls and women’s conditions and gender equality under the framework of EU-funded project, as well as to review and update what had been done on FGM and to share success stories and good practices.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Kunle Adeniyi, UNFPA Representative, said FGM led to long-term physical, psychological and social consequences.
“It violates women’s rights to sexual and productive health, physical integrity non-discrimination and freedom from cruel,” he added.
According to Adeniyi, 4.1 million girls around the world are at risk of undergoing FGM.
“This is a grave cause for concern and a call to rapid actions to ensure the fundamental human rights of our women and girls are protected,” he stressed.
He further explained that, in 2015, 193 countries including The Gambia overwhelmingly backed the elimination of female genital mutilation as one of the targets in the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
“We need policies and legislation protecting the rights of girls and women to live free from violence and discrimination,” he added.
Adeniyi also said there was a need to empower young girls by giving them the tools to become more influential, productive actors in their societies.
“We need to galvanize the global movement to accelerate efforts to eliminate female genital mutilation,” he said.
Professor Adriana Kaplan, Executive Director of Wassu Kafo Gambia, described the international Day of zero tolerance for FGM as key, saying it was celebrated every 6 February annually.
“It’s important that we hold and celebrate this day in the Gambia; we bring together every stakeholder, every institution and the government to speak about the issues on FGM and learn about good practices, and move forward together,” she urged.
Sainey Touray, on behalf of the speaker of the national assembly, said: “at the level of the national assembly we are very much passionate about issues concerning human rights”.
He stated that the right and freedom of girl children were very close to the heart of the national assembly.
“The assembly pride itself on championing the cause of women, children and to make sure they are protected from any form of violations,” he said.
He pointed out that the girl child should no long be subjected to any violations.
He further commended the UNFPA for their immense contribution in building the capacity of national assembly members with regard to the girl child.
-0- PANA MSS/RA 5Feb2020