We are very much concerned about the rate of violence against women and girls. Almost every week, papers report one or more cases of violence against a woman or a girl.
In fact, the unreported cases of violence against women and girls are more in the Gambian context.
It is believed that thousands of women and girls are victims of gender-based violence every single day, in the form of 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.
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.
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.
Most forms of violence result in physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive and other health problems, and may increase 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 response to intimate-partner sexual violence against women.
Women and girls in The Gambia are very hard working, 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.
"Violence against women cannot be tolerated in any form and in any context."