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PF Initiatives Launches “Speakout Against SGBV” Campaign to Popularise 1313 Help Line

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PF Initiative [formerly Paradise foundation] has on Thursday, November17th 2022, launched the “Speak Out Against SGBV” Campaign to popularize and make ubiquitous the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence {SGBV} helpline – 1313 at the Paradise Suites Hotel, in Kololi.

This awareness campaign is part of PF Initiative’s Tahawou Jigueen [Standing up for women] project. The project is geared towards engaging, educating and working with local community groups and other relevant stakeholders – governmental and non-governmental in the fight against Gender-Based Violence within the country. In a widely circulated media advisory, PF initiatives explains the need to popularize and gin awareness for Tahawou Jigueen initiated GBV reporting helpline.

“The ‘Tahawou Jigueen’ project launched in June 2020 includes the Gender-based Violence Helpline ‘1313’ in partnership with The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). After over two years of operations Gender-based Violence Helpline ‘1313’, PF Initiative (PFI) deemed it necessary to popularization the helpline ‘1313’ to enhance public awareness on operations of ‘1313’ free helpline and the services offered via the help line nationwide (five regions) using all the phone services providers (Gamcell, Africell, Qcell & Comium).” 

Speaking at the event, Neneh Touray, a representative from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, said sexual and gender-based violence is a critical matter that everyone must fight in the Gambia. She stated that it is our responsibility as human beings and responsible citizens to collectively fight GBV since no single person can fight it alone.

Touching on the initiation of the 1313 helpline, Madam Touray told the gathering that, it is the brainchild of PF Initiative [formerly Paradise Foundation], a woman led National Foundation, working closely with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare. She stressed the importance of such a valuable tool in the fight against GBV.

“This is truly indicative of our collective drive to ensure that women, girls and vulnerable take their rightful in national efforts. For far too long, violence against women and children has remained a hidden scandal in homes and communities. GBV affected all families rich or poor, big, or small,” she told her audience.

In his address to the gathering, Fallou Sowe, the Executive Director of Network Against Gender-Based Violence, said it is important for people to know the reporting mechanisms for cases or suspected cases of GBV.  Furthermore, he advised Gambians to report cases of sexual or physical violence to the police and other relevant authorities such as Chiefs, Alikalos, the Network Against Gender-Based Violence, and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare through the hotline: 1313- it is, he emphasized, free of charge across all networks.

Ms. Ndey Rose Sarr, UNFPA representative, said the SGBV helpline is critical in the support of SGBV survivors by responding to their needs for discrete and timely communication.

“We need continuous efforts to amplify our voices so that SGBV issues are heard and dealt with in a timely and just manner,” she said.

She added that one of the most powerful tools to raise awareness about the SGBV issues is the media. The fourth estate, she stated, plays a significant role in ensuring gender base violence cases are reported, and the report is done ethically with evidence.

“To partner with the media will help the people of the country to use the right information available, services to use and also know where to access them if they need help,” She stated.

She encouraged people to raise awareness about violence against women and girls and act as ambassadors in ending all forms of gender-based violence in the Gambia. She emphasised that men have a key role to play and called on them to speak out as well.  She stated that men adding their voice with the chorus, enough is enough, will go a long way in curtailing GBV.

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