Women almost every day face one form of violence or another in our society, which makes us to be very much concerned about the rate of violence against women and girls.
Going by news media reports, almost every week, the papers report one or more cases of violence aginst a woman or a girl in the country.
In fact, the unreported cases of violence agints women and girls are more than the ones reported.
It is believed that thousands of women and girls are victims of gender-based violence every single day, in the form of all manner of domestic violence, sexual abuse, female genital mutilation, trafficking or early and forced marriage.
The issue of discrimination and violence against women are among the problems that we must strive as a country to address seriously.
While we acknowledge the efforts of the government and development partners, including those in the civil society, we must put more emphasis on education for girls, and work hard to address violence against women and girls in our society.
In our homes, many women and girls have been subjected to violence in one way or the other, and we must do something to stop it now rather than later.
With commitment and willingness, we can protect our innocent girls from female genital mutilation, and all other forms of violence that hinder their progress and affect their human dignity.
Violence committed against women is a violation of women's human rights and must cease now.
Most forms of violence result in physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive and other health problems, and may increase women's vulnerability to HIV.
There is a need also for the dissemination of information, and more national efforts to advance women's rights and the prevention of and effective response to intimate-partner sexual violence against women.
Women and girls in The Gambia are very hardworking, and without them no household would live well; yet they are repaid with domestic violence and other forms of violence.
They are our mothers, grandmothers, wives, sisters, and aunties whom we are obliged to protect.
We must respect women and girls, and treat them well, since after all they are human beings like us.