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“FGM is still seen as a Religious Obligation in The Gambia – More is needed to Sensitise Communities against FGM”

By Lamin Sanneh,

Who my project involved:

Our Radio sensitization on ending FGM included influential leaders (Women community leaders,) National Assembly members, youth, and women leaders sensitising communities during Ramadan on the adverse effects of FGM and discouraging parents from cutting the girl child.

The Radio station:

I was able to use Kaira Nyining Community Radio. This radio station is owned by 33 communities in Kombo East District and the communities take ownership to always listen to the radio. The estimated reach of the radio is in three regions, the West Coast Region, the North Bank Region, and parts of the Lower River Region.

The Media project success:

The activity was successful due to the reactions of the listeners through phone calls and text messages during the radio air times. Many did not lose sight to acknowledge the fact that many used the Easter holiday as a period to secretly cut children since their involvement at schools was restricted. Most of the listeners did not hesitate to share their views and also highlight the importance of the activity.

"Most of these issues are not adequately discussed in our local settings for people to understand and make informed choices to avert practicing FGM which is against the violation of the right to the girl child. That is why these radio… Share on X

Some listeners that called also put more emphasis to also add their voices to discourage their families and friends that still believed FGM is a religious obligation and a deep-rooted cultural value they should protect at all cost.

Strong message:

Most people promised to stop practicing FGM. Most people are still reluctant that the practice is a good one and can’t do away from it because of religious bases.

What I would do next time:

Target young people specifically to add more voices on eliminating FGM. Religious leaders in the community to also add their voices

Ruth Harley

Ruth Harley is working with GMC as a Website News Editor, compiling stories written by End FGM campaigners working with the Global Media Campaign to End FGM across Africa. Alongside this work, she is running The Women’s Vinyl Project which empowers women and girls through singing and music and is helping to end FGM.