The Network Against Gender Based violence, a joint local and Finnish initiative, Saturday held a one-day sensitisation forum for hotel workers at the Kanifing Muncipal Council (KMC) Multi-Purpose Centre in Kanifing. The forum, which was part of the networks awareness raising activities on gender issues, was aimed at combating violence against women and girls in The Gambia.
Making a presentation at the forum, Musukuta Badjie, the programme officer of Child Protection Alliance (CPA), dilated on gender-based violence, its forms, perception, causes and consequences among others. She explained that gender-based violence is violence perpetrated against individuals especially women and girls resulting to physical, mental, psychological, sexual as well as arbitrary restrictions of or deprivation of fundamental freedom in private or public life.
She added that it normally occurs based on power inequalities between male and female. Badjie noted that women and girls at home and even work places normally face the act. "The act is mainly caused by ignorance, poverty, jealousy, obsession, arrogance, frustration, parental irresponsibility among others," she further stated.
Some of the way forward in combating gender-based violence, according to her, are rethinking and redesigning of all inclusive local initiatives, approaches and messages guided and informed by effective implementation of personal laws, and nurturing of good cultural and traditional practices.
For her part, Madam Rui Mboob-Janneh of the Female Lawyers Association The Gambia (FLAG), spoke about the court systems and setting as well as the acts that protect women in this country. She explained that FLAG was set up to render support to underprivileged women when their rights have been trampled. She however, stressed that FLAG is not for those who can afford the services of a lawyer.
Fallu Sowe, the deputy director, Department of Parks and Wildlife, spoke about sexual harassment at workplaces.