GIZ Engage CSOs on the State of SGBV In the Gambia

Participants at the event

By Fatou Dahaba

The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), on Wednesday, 28th February, engaged members of the Civil Society Organization in the Gambia dealing with Sexual and Gender Base Violence (SGBV) on the state of SGBV in the country after successfully completing a stakeholder mapping exercise on SGBV.

The day-long forum seeks to make stakeholders aware of how civil society engagement in The Gambia has helped to address injustices committed and how recommendations have found their way into the transitional justice process as the role of civil society remains crucial.

The objective of the forum is to strengthen the capacities of police services to serve and protect their citizens by democratic policing principles.

German Ambassador to the Gambia Klaus Botzet said civil society has vast experience in behavioral change communication, saying they understand how different groups’ attitudes towards SGBV can be changed, adding the GPF can build on this experience to achieve its objective to reduce GBV cases by 20 percent.

German Ambassador to the Gambia Klaus Botzet

“Civil society is also on the frontline in investigating and prosecuting SGBV victims. They accompany victims to the police, the hospital for the medical examination, and the court. They know the criminal justice system from the victim’s perspective. They can provide valuable feedback on where the interface between police and victims can be improved.’

Commenting on the importance of today’s meeting, Ambassador Klaus said it will provide an overview of who works in which area of SGBV, and they will have the opportunity to share knowledge, increase transparency, and strengthen networking and collaboration among each other and the police.

“How police officers handle and investigate SGBV is essential for victims to find the courage to report incidents so that perpetrators do not get away with violations of their rights.”

Dr. Marion Popp from GIZ said the meeting would only reach its objective if all participants left the hall with new ideas and cooperation partners and felt motivated and encouraged to continue the fight against SGBV.

Dr. Marion Popp from GIZ presented her findings.

“To reach this objective, your insights and contributions are vital to the success of today’s gathering. I encourage everyone to participate and actively share your valuable perspective.”

As part of the event, Madam Simone Kopfmueller presented the findings of a stakeholder mapping exercise in which all civil society organizations participated.

This allows participants to cross-check the findings and know whether the information gathered from the questionnaire depicts a realistic picture or if important information is missing.

The event brought together representatives of the most important civil society organizations that have set themselves the goal of combating Sexual and Gender Base Violence (SGBV) in The Gambia, representatives of the Gambia Police Force, and International Partner Organizations.

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