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The Politics of FGM: The Influence of External and Locally-Led Initiatives in The Gambia


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Speaker(s): Dr Isatou Touray
Chair: Professor Sylvia Chant

Recorded on 18 March 2013 in New Theatre, East Building.

This talk discusses the efforts made by grassroots Gambian activists and community campaigns, as well as external forces, in building resistance to female genital mutilation in one of the few countries in the world where the practice remains not legally prohibited.

Isatou Touray is founder and Executive Director of the Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP), an organisation which has campaigned for women’s and girls’ rights since the 1980s, and which has been a leader in the struggle to eliminate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). In addition to a prolific list of publications, Dr Touray has engaged extensively with other rights organisations in The Gambia and beyond. This has included membership of the Gender Action Team for the Ratification of the African Protocol on Women’s Rights, and the Technical Advisory Body for the Policy for the Advancement of Gambian Women, and acting as Secretary General for the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices. In recognition of her achievements, sacrifices and service to others, in 2008 Dr Touray was awarded the US Ambassadorial Prize for ‘International Woman of Courage’ and was voted ‘Gambian of the Year’, an honour bestowed previously on only two female nationals.

This event is supported by the LSE Annual Fund.

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