The Daily Observer on 31 December reported that officials of the National Population Secretariat (NPS), in collaboration with the regional population taskforce committee recently embarked on joint monitoring visits to the UNFPA-sponsored projects in the Central River Region. These visits included a trip to the women's vegetable garden in Janjangbureh where some fencing materials, wheelbarrows, spades and seeds were provided to the women to expand their garden. Four wells were also dug by the secretariat from the UNFPA funds through the Women's Bureau.
The Daily Observer on 14 September reported on a four-day training for service providers on focused antenatal and family planning at the Regional Health Management Team. The training was funded by the UNFPA.
The Daily Observer on 27 August reported that more than 20 media, from both print and electronic media, concluded a five-day training on Comprehensive Condom Programming, organised by the Reproductive and Child Health unit of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. UNFPA’s National Commodity Security Coordinator said the role of the media is especially crucial to information dissemination on commodity security, and that the major challenge is to reduce maternal mortality.
The Daily Observer on 18 June reported on a day's sensitization and dissemination workshop for journalists, drawn from both print and electronic media, on the revised National Population Policy 2007-2015. UNFPA Representative Bintou Suso is quoted as stating that sharing the revised policy with the journalists is important, given their status as partners in development.
The Daily Observer reported on 22 September on three-day training on monitoring and evaluation of the joint UNFPA/UNICEF programme on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Participants were from some West African countries and the United States. The training was designed to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation of the FGM/C programme as well as develop the capacity and accountability of the countries in West Africa. Read in English: The Daily Observer
The Daily Observer reported on 23 August, on comments made by UNFPA Regional Director for Africa, Bunmi Makinwa, verifying the organization’s work with the government on various health-related issues such as maternal mortality. “This issue is very important and we are working with the government of The Gambia in terms of family planning to reduce it.” Read in English: The Daily Observer
The Daily Observer reported on 19 August on the launch of the State of the World’s Midwifery Report in Banjul by Minister of Health and Social Welfare Fatim Badjie. Minister Badjie emphasized the importance of midwifery in the country’s efforts to achieve the MDGs. UNFPA regional director for Africa Bunmi Makinwa said, “If all pregnant women had access to antenental care and well-equipped basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care facilities managed by health workers with midwifery skill, we could avoid nearly two-third of all maternal deaths, half of still births and 60% of newborn deaths." Read in English: The Daily Observer
THE GAMBIA: Gamcotrap Celebrates the Third Dropping of the Knife – First Ever in the Lower River Region
Foroyaa published a press release on 8 July on a planned event, “Sheroines Against FGM - Dropping of the Knife at Soma, Lower River Region” organized by Gamcotrap with support from UNFPA to mark the abandonment of FGM/C.
GAMBIA: Foroyaa reported on 22 June that the National Assembly adopted the motion for the revitalization of the parliamentary network on population and development (Gambia branch) and election of its executive. Ivan Ajabola Thomas was speaking at a media training workshop organized by the UNFPA in collaboration with Media Alliance for Population and Development Issues (MAPDI) in Bo, Sierra Leone. He said the development of all spheres of life was as a result of change which needed new ideas in order to produce high per capita income through modern and improved ways of life for the people.
SIERRA LEONE: Awoko and The Concord Times reported on 20-22 June that former director-general of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) has said that the mass media, if effectively utilized, has the potential to improve on the socio-economic and political development of Sierra Leone, thus urging media practitioners to use their respective media outlets to effect positive changes in society. Ivan Ajabola Thomas was speaking at a media training workshop organized by the UNFPA in collaboration with Media Alliance for Population and Development. Read: Awoko and The Concord Times
UGANDA: New Vision reported on 21 June that the UNFPA Assistant Country Representative endorsed the establishment of regional chapters of the Media Alliance for Population and Development Issues (MAPDI). Speaking at the launching ceremony in Bo, Mariama Diarra described media practitioners as key partners in the dissemination of UNFPA’s activities. She maintained that reporting on population and development, reproductive health and gender issues among others enables the public to raise the much needed awareness in Sierra Leone.
The Daily Observer reported on 2 June that the Gambia Bureau of Statistics, in collaboration with UNICEF, UNDP and UNFPA. Wednesday launched the Gambia National Statistics Database, otherwise called GAMINFO in Banjul. The GAMINFO system was developed with the usage of software called DevInfo, which is also a database system that harnesses the power of advanced information technology to compile and disseminate data on human development indicators. The system is also believed to be endorsed by the UN development group to assist the countries to monitor progress towards the MDGs. Read: The Daily Observer
The Daily Observer reported on 20 May that the Pakalinding Youth Centre in Jarra West District of the Lower River Region has undergone some massive renovation work, through the efforts of the National Youth Council (NYC). The centre, which in the past served among other things as counselling centre, meeting and study area for young people was left fallow over the years, but has been brought back to life, after being renovated and fitted with brand new computers connected to the internet, flat screen TVs and a satellite dish and all its information accessories thanks to the foresight of NYC and support from UNFPA. Read: The Daily Observer
The Daily Observer reported on 26 April that The National Youth Council (NYC) recently concluded a five-day training for 20 youths on life skills at the Bansang Youth Centre in Upper Fulladu West Central River Region (CRR) south. The training was funded by UNFPA. Speaking at the occasion, Abdoulie Faye, the programme manager of NYC, said life skills are abilities which help a person to adopt and to behave positively so that he or she can deal effectively with the challenges of everyday life. He also explained that life skills include decision-making, problem solving, critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, interpersonal relationship, self-awareness and understanding, coping with stress and coping with emotion. "It addresses the important related issues of empowering girls and new values for boys," he added.
Foroyaa reported on 19 April that the Association of Health Journalists (AOHJ), on 16 April, elected a new executive at its congress held at the Daily New Office in Churchill Town. Delivering his report before the members, Mr. Pa Modou Faal discussed several trainings, including a recent three-day UNFPA-funded workshop on reporting FGM and the five days training on strengthening capacity to utilize research and science in policy making in the Gambia.
The Daily Observer reported on 7 April that the Forum for African Women Educationist (FAWEGAM), with support from UNFPA, last Saturday sensitized religious leaders and communities in the North Bank Region (NBR) on the effects of all forms of discriminations against women and girls, at a forum held in Farafenni. The forum was geared towards sensitizing the communities and religious leaders to pool efforts in supporting the eradication of all forms of violence against women. Read: The Daily Observer
Today reported on 28 March that the Forum for African Women Educationist (FAWEGAM) with support from UNFPA organized a one day sensitization with community and religious leaders in Farafenni on the effects of all forms of discrimination against women and girls. The objective of the forum was to discuss with community leaders to support in eradicating and putting a halt to all forms of violence against women. Read: Today
The Daily Observer reported on 25 March that the Youth Network on Population and Reproductive Health Upper River Region (URR) chapter, in collaboration with the national committee, held a one-day training for youths in Basse on reproductive health, illegal migration, and HIV/AIDS. Lamin Drammeh, a representative from UNFPA, said the Fund is the lead donor to the network. He said the training is very important, looking at the topics of discussion and challenged the participants to make the best use of the training, while assuring of UNFPA's continuous support to the welfare of young people. Read: The Daily Observer
The Daily Observer reported on 24 March that the National Population Commission Secretariat, with funding from UNFPA, held a four-day training for the West Coast Region population task forces in Brikama, held at the Governor's Office. The forum brought together over 20 participants drawn from various government departments, NGOs and CBOs within the West Coast Region. Read: The Daily Observer
The Associated Press reported on 7 February that top UN officials are calling for an end to female genital mutilation, saying it violates fundamental human rights and endangers the health of 3 million girls who undergo the practice annually. Anthony Lake, chief of UNICEF, and Babatunde Osotimehin, head of UNFPA, called on countries and organizations worldwide to help end the practice. Read: Associated Press
IPS reported on 7 February that the United Nations is intensifying its global campaign to eliminate one of the most widely-condemned religious and cultural rituals in the world today, mostly in Africa and Asia: female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). The joint efforts by UNFPA and UNICEF - have resulted in over 6,000 communities abandoning the physically-harmful practice in countries such as Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, Burkina Faso, the Gambia, Guinea and Somalia. Read: IPS
United Nations Radio reported on 7 February that over 6,000 communities across Africa have abandoned the harmful practice of female genital mutilation/cutting in the last three years, according to a joint United Nations programme designed to eliminate the practice. Three million girls face FGM/C every year in Africa and around the world. On the occasion, commemorated each year as the International Day against FGM/C, Gerry Adams spoke to the Coordinator of the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme, Nafissatou Diop, about how culturally sensitive approaches are used to encourage abandonment of the practice. Read: United Nations Radio
CHINA: Xinhua reported on 8 February that Chiefs of two UN agencies have issued a joint statement calling on the international community to work toward eliminating female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C), UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters. Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF and Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, issued the statement asking the global community to join efforts to stop FGM/C on the occasion of the International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM/C. Read: Xinhua
THE GAMBIA:The Daily Observer (The Gambia) reported on 10 February that over 6,000 communities across Africa have chosen to abandon the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), a joint United Nations Programme report from UNICEF, Gambia office revealed. According to the report, this development is designed to eliminate the practice. UNFPA and UNICEF, the report added, are partnering to end FGM/C, a practice that is serious, has immediate and long-term health effects and a clear violation of girls’ and women's fundamental rights. "We are working in 12 out of 17 priority African countries and have seen real results over the years of hard work and these are paying off with FGM/C prevalence rate decreasing," said Nafissatou Diop, coordinator of the UNFPA-UNICEF joint programme on FGM/C in the joint report. Read: The Daily Observer
INDIA: PTI reported on 7 February that noting that three million women face the risk of FGM/C anually, the UN has called for the abolition of the practice, which has so far been carried out on 100 to 140 million women worldwide. FGM/C, according to the UN, has "serious immediate and long-term health effects and a clear violation of fundamental human rights." On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM/C, the world body called on the global community to end this practice. "Together, we can abolish FGM/C in one generation and help millions of girls and women to live healthier, fuller lives," said a statement released by UNICEF and UNFPA. Read: PTI
TANZANIA: The Guardian reported on 8 February that UN representatives in the country have called for urgent steps to stop FGM/C and to protect women and girls from all forms of harmful practices in the country. The envoys - Julitta Onabanjo of UNFPA, Vibeke Jensen of UNESCO and Anna Collin-Falk of UN Women – issued the call in a joint statement released to observe the International Day for Zero Tolerance to FGM/C. They underlined a need for the government, communities and families to take urgent measures to protect women and girls from the effects of the malpractice, which in still deeply-rooted in some customs and traditions. Read: The Guardian
UNITED STATES: The Huffington Post published a blog by Evelyn Leopold on 13 February on progress toward eradicating FGM/C around the world. She wrote, “The good news is that female circumcision -- also known as female genital mutilation -- has decreased in a number of nations. The bad news is that the figures are still shocking after years of campaigns. The practice of cutting into female organs is prevalent in a number of countries in Africa, the Middle East and south Asia as well as among migrant families in Europe and the United States. Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) is usually carried out between infancy and 15 years of age to keep women "pure," marriageable and unable to enjoy sex. Consequences include severe bleeding, childbirth complications, and of course pain. The latest figures, released by the UNFPA and the UNICEF show that over 6,000 communities have chosen to abandon the practice in Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, Burkina Faso, the Gambia, Guinea and Somalia.
Ms. Magazine reported on 9 February that a joint programme between UNFPA and UNICEF eported that over 6,000 communities in Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, Burkina Faso, the Gambia, Guinea and Somalia have abandoned the practice of female genital mutilation/ cutting (FGM/C). Nafissatou Diop, coordinator of the UNFPA-UNICEF program, stated, "We are working in 12 out of 17 priority African countries and have seen real results...In Ethiopia, the prevalence rate has fallen from 80 per cent to 74 per cent, in Kenya from 32 percent to 27 percent, and in Egypt from 97 percent to 91 percent." Read: Ms. Magazine
Today reported on 5 January that in a bid to extend the frontiers of their battle against female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in The Gambia, Gamcotrap has joined forces with the Women’s Bureau to bring the thorny issue of FGM/C to the attention of military officers in Laminkoto barracks in the north of the Central River Region. At a two-day training workshop funded by the UNFPA’s country program, fifty participants were sensitized on the issues revolving around the practice in the country and how military officers can join the fight and secure The Gambia from the ills of a practice that leaves many young girls and women physically maimed and psychologically unsettled for life. Read: Today
The Daily Observer reported on 30 December that UNFPA presented items worth for the 2013 population and housing census. The items, which were received by the Vice President and Minister of Women’s Affairs, Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy at the launching of the Women Federation KMC chapter at the Serrekunda West Mini-Stadium included three Toyota vehicles, computers, printer accessories, stationeries for census mapping, and furniture for the cartography unit, among other valuable items. Speaking at the occasion, Lamin Nyabally, Permanent Secretary #1, Office of the Vice President, said UNFPA has been complementing government efforts in developing different sectors such as health, education, women empowerment and poverty alleviation. He acknowledged that the items will be very useful for the upcoming population census. He thanked UNFPA for being a long-term partner of government and assured of the proper use of the items for the purpose they're meant for. Read: The Daily Observer
The Daily Observer reported on 28 December that the Network of Adolescents and Youth on Population and Development (NAYPOD), recently held a one-day meeting on sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS with stakeholders and youths in Essau, Lower Nuimi District in the North Bank Region. The programme was funded by UNFPA to promote community outreach to intensify and strengthen information flow among the youthful population with regard to sexual and reproductive health information. Speaking at the occasion, the president of NAYPOD, Lamin Marong said that the programme is geared towards creating awareness among youths especially on adolescent health and reproductive health information and rights. Read: The Daily Observer
Foroyaa reported on 17 December that APGWA, in collaboration with UNFPA, conducted a workshop to train Kanyeleng Women to develop messages for the abandonment of FGM/C. The training was held over two days, 9-10 December, 2010 at TANGO Resource Centre in Kanifing. Earlier on, APGWA, in collaboration with UNFPA, conducted advocacy activities for the abandonment of FGM/C in North Bank Region in April 2010. This led to the launch of a campaign to eradicate FGM/C in the North Bank Region. At the launching ceremony, a recommendation was made by the parliamentarians, chiefs, women leaders and the 'Ngansimbas', for APGWA to continue the dialogue and community workshops at each district to be hosted by the Chief of the District. Read: Foroyaa
The Daily Observer reported on 6 December that the National Population Commission Secretariat, in partnership with UNFPA, recently organized a three-day training and reconstituted a Regional Population Taskforce in Kerewan North Bank Region. Read: The Daily Observer
The Daily Observer reported on 1 December that Vice President and Minister of Women's Affairs, Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy, presided over the launching of the Women's Act 2010 and Gender Women Empowerment Policy at the Jerma Beach Hotel in Kololi. Dr. Njie-Saidy maintained that strategies of the Women's Policy called for the harmonization of the provisions of CEDAW in the national legislation, adding that the Gambia has also signed and ratified the protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights and on the rights of women in Africa in 2006 without reservation. She went on to disclose that apart from these capacity development strides, other initiatives being implemented include a study on gender-based violence and drafting of a gender -based violence bill; and capacity assessment on gender sensitivity of policies and gender profile, with a view to develop or update relevant legal instrument and policy framework. These studies, she noted, will also provide them with the much needed baseline data to continue to monitor and assess implementation of the Women's Act. She then thanked development partners like UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, ADB and the Commonwealth for the technical and financial support they rendered to her office. Read: The Daily Observer
Today reported on 29 November that the National Population Commission Secretariat, in partnership with UNFPA, recently organized a three-day training workshop and reconstituting of regional population task force in Kerewan, North Bank Region. The three-day synergy was aimed at enhancing the capacity of members of the regional population task force and multidiscipline facilitation team on how to effectively monitor and disseminate population activities and programmes in the region. Read: Today
The Daily Observer reported on 12 November that more institutions continue to donate in cash or kind to the disaster victims in the country through the Emergency Relief Response. The latest to donate include UNFPA, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Fresh Start Foundation, Yoruba Community in The Gambia and the Gambian Association based in Houston, Texas, USA. The donations were received yesterday by the vice president and minister of Women's Affairs, Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy, at a presentation ceremony held at her office at State House in Banjul. The UNFPA office was the first to present its items, which included reproductive health kits worth over $50,000. Read: The Daily Observer
Today reported on 8 November on a training workshop to equip security personnel on how to detect and prevent banned chlorofluorocarbons from entering the country. The article noted that, in addition to the workshop, the Central River Regional population task-force members have also undergone training, organized by the National Population Commission Secretariat and funded by UNFPA. Read: Today
Today reported on 3 November that the acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Alieu Jammeh, has called upon the youth population to play significant roles in the socio-economic development of their societies, noting that, as they constitute a majority of the society, they thus serve as links between the past and the future. Mr. Jammeh made this call at the celebration of the African Youth Day and International Year of Youth which was organized by the National Youth Council, with support from the UNFPA. According to Mr. Jammeh, it is a realization of the potentials of youths that would make all parents, individuals and organizations, public, private, formal, informal organizations sectors to invest in them for sustainable and meaningful development of the country. Read: Today
The Daily Observer reported on 30 September that Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy, the vice president and minister of Women's Affairs, has called for more support in the implementation of the Women's Act 2010 and the Gender and Women's Empowerment Policy 2010-2020, for the attainment of the MDG3 on economic empowerment of women and Vision 2020 national development agenda. She then thanked development partners, in particular the UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA and the Commonwealth Secretariat, for the technical and financial support accorded to The Gambia. She also acknowledged that the Women's Act 2010 and the Gender and Women Empowerment Policy 2010-2020 are formulated with the aim of enhancing existing laws as well as harmonising into our laws, signed and ratified international commitments, such as CEDAW, the AU Protocol on Women and the AU Solemn Declaration on Women, with the ultimate objective of promoting and protecting women and girl's rights. Read: The Daily Observer
The Daily Observer reported on 24 September that the Women's Bureau, in collaboration with UNDP under the women empowerment and gender mainstreaming, organized a training for members of the judiciary and sensitized stakeholders on the Women's Act. The Women's Act is a comprehensive piece of legislation that embodies the law to enforce women's human rights and provide protection against discrimination. Speaking at the occasion, Lamin Nyabally, the permanent secretary, Office of the Vice President said the commitment of The Gambia under the leadership of His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Jammeh to gender equality, equity and women empowerment is unquestionable. The permanent secretary then urged all and sundry to join the bandwagon in the implementation of the Women's Act. He finally commended UNDP, UN, UNICEF, UNFPA and the National Assembly for their collaboration and cooperation. Read: The Daily Observer