The Gambia Teachers’ Union, through support from the Steve Sinnott Foundation, has begun a two-day training on Gender-Based Violence for twenty Special Needs teachers from selected schools in the country.
The training taking place from the 15th-16th July 2022, is aim among other things to increase awareness of School-Related Gender-Based Violence, and improve the knowledge of participants on the types and extent of GBV and its consequences. Similarly, the training is expected to give participants an in-depth understanding of the operational structures of the GTU on trade union and professional matters, as well as empower participants with information and available service providers for response to cases of GBV.
During his presentation on the Educational Management Information System, Alpha Bah of the Planning Unit at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education observed that 90% of children with disabilities in the developing world do not go to school while the literacy rate for adults with disabilities stands 3%.
Mr. Bah further observed the existing challenge of gathering data on persons with disabilities but quickly noted frantic efforts are being done by the Ministry to cover the data gap.
There have been reports of Gender-Based Violence in and out of the educational settings. Some acts of violence and violations are targeted at persons with disabilities. It is thus, hoped with such training the narratives will change for the better.
Madam Phebian I.G Sagnia, Principal Health Researcher at the Ministry of Health told the Special Needs teachers that the use of ‘Tabaa’ for sexual purposes has a high risk of contracting cervical cancer.
During her presentation, Phebian said GBV is often used to represent any act of threat by men or male-dominated institutions that inflict physical, sexual, or psychological harm on a woman or girl because of gender or vice-versa. She highlighted that the root causes of GBV are power imbalance, gender inequalities, and disregard for human rights among others.
She noted that some acts of GBV have consequential health implications such as pelvic inflammatory diseases, miscarriage, gynecological problems among others.
Other presenters during the presentation included Essa Sowe, Deputy General Secretary-GTU, who took participants through the Union and other professional development matters