Woman leader speaking at a public declaration to abandon female genital cutting and child marriage in Gambia.

Neneh Touray, Deputy Director for the Directorate of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, speaks at the public declaration in Kuntaur Fula Kunda.

Congratulations to the 72 communities who gathered in Kuntaur Fula Kunda, Central River Region in Gambia, this week to publicly declare their decision to abandon female genital cutting (FGC) and child marriage. 

Communities engaged with local media to share the social transformation they’ve led through engagement with Tostan’s Community Empowerment Program, holding a press conference to amplify their decision to end harmful practices. 

Elders and young people responded to questions from journalists, demonstrating intergenerational and collective decision-making around their commitment to abandon FGC and child marriage.

Government representatives joined the declaration ceremony alongside social mobilisation agents, local leaders, district chiefs and the deputy governor of the region. 

Women, men, boys and girls celebrated with dancing, speeches, and testimonials from local people around the social transformation they are leading in their communities. 

One village chief commented that his community’s partnership with Tostan has led to changes of “unity and cooperation”, and that women’s leadership in his village has helped to solve communal problems through “dialogue and understanding”.

Communities who gathered join a growing movement for community well-being and for the abandonment of FGC and child marriage.