By Mustapha Jallow
The Network Against Gender-Based Violence (NGBV) has on Monday launched a project in a bid to fight against gender-based violence in The Gambia worth over 20 million dalasi.
The project is the 3rd in row valued at £350, 000, which based on the exchange rate pegged at D58 per euro, is over 20 million dalasi.
The launching ceremony was supported by Amplify-Change, through ActionAid International The Gambia under the topic: “Consolidating the Capacity of NGBV, Towards Combating GBV and Realizing SRHR of young people and Girls.’’
Delivering her opening statement, Fatoumata Jatta-Sowe, the head of programs and policy-AAITG, said the project has been in existence for years and is expected to end in June 2022. Sowe said the project aims to consolidate the gains they have made in the first and second rows.
Madam Sowe said the project focused on supporting the capacity of the Network towards combating GBV and realizing sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) of young people and girls.
Sowe also said the project will concentrate on youth in all regions in the country. This, is believed, would strengthen the capacity of NGBV to be more effective in its coordinating role and supporting governance and control system of NGBV.
“It’s also targeting people living with HIV/AIDs, especially women and psychically challenged persons and those working at hotels, including domestic workers. We do know that in most cases, domestic workers are left out,’’ she said.
“So this time around, we are going to concentrate on them (domestic-workers) because we do know that they also face a lot of violations but not much research or intervention has been done among such people and they are mostly women.’’
Madam Sowe added that 99.9% of domestic workers are women. She thus said they will conduct information gathering on the matter.
Fallu Sowe, the National Coordinator of the NGBV, said their Network, AAITG and AmplifyChange entered into a tri-party agreement in 2016 to address FGM/C and other forms of GBV in The Gambia.
Sowe said the project assisted their Network and ActionAid to reach all the districts across the country to enhance advocacy and awareness raising programmes on GBV related issues.
“As we launch the new project… I call for our renewed commitment as the war against SGBV has just began and for us to maintain our gains from the previous two projects, tackle the unfinished business and emerging challenges,’’ he said.
Mr. Sowe added that their Network needs to consolidate their efforts more than ever now by using their experience and the research conducted to effectively prevent and respond to SGBV and promote SRHR of young people and girls in the next two years of this project.
“I am confident that one day we shall win the war against FGM and other forms of SGBV in The Gambia,’’ he said.
Musu Bakoto-Sowe Saho, Chair of the NGBV committee, said the project is timely, saying despite the COVID-19 pandemic challenges, they have realized an increment of gender-based violence according to report by One-step Centres of the Network.
“We also see that access to reproductive health and services remain a problem in The Gambia and during COVID-19, we have seen issues of SRHR were not priority,’’ she said.