Gender Minister opens GMIS center
By Cherno Omar Bobb
Hon. Fatou Kinteh, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Welfare on Wednesday opened and launched the Gender Information Management Systems (GMIS) Center and Free Call Center for reporting and management of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence at the Orange Centre in Bakoteh.
UNFPA, ITC, UNDP, and UNICEF in collaboration with Minister/Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare and Network Against Gender-Based Violence established the GMIS Center, which became operational in January 2023.
The GIMS Centre is set up with the aim of building a strong evidence base on Gender-Based Violence (GBV), promoting a safe, confidential and convenient way for reporting GBV cases. The system-focused platform (GMIS Platform) supports the digital reporting of GBV cases through an anonymous website, where cases can be reported by the survivor or any other person, at any time and from anywhere within the Gambia.
The GMIS Centre will also aid the digital reporting of GBV cases creating a strong evidence base on GBV, promoting a safe, confidential, and convenient way for reporting GBV cases, promoting the delivery of quality services, in line with global standards and GBV guiding principles and strengthening referrals in a timely and most appropriate manner.
The GMIS center has two major components, the GMIS Platform which is a digital system and the Call Centre which is a 24-hour helpline 199 for the reporting of GBV cases.
The helpline will offer a safe and confidential option for survivors and individuals who are vulnerable to voicing out violence and abuse, as well as provides them with critical psychological first aid, psychosocial support, case management, and access to safety, medical care, and justice.
In her launch statement, she expressed their commitment to continue to have strong collaboration with actors to facilitate the recording of all GBV data on the platform as well as develop more GBV programs targeting the adolescent.
She also expressed their readiness to educate parents and community members on GBV and the way to identify when a child has been violated, most likely to be violated, and their role in preventing GBV.
Ndeye Rose Sarr, UNFPA The Gambia Country Representative said so far 91 cases have been reported since January 2023 (Rape;30 cases, Sexual assault;23 cases, Physical Violence;18 cases, Early/ Forced Marriages;2 cases, IPV;18).
She described Gender-Based Violence (GBV) as a serious violation of several human rights, adding that it has the potential to inflict different forms of harm including physical, psychological, sexual, and economic harm.
She added that GBV undermines the health, dignity, security, and autonomy of its survivors, yet it remains shrouded in a culture of silence. Survivors of gender-based violence suffer sexual and reproductive health consequences, including forced and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, traumatic fistula, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including HIV, and even death.
She appealed to the ministries, Civic Society Organisations and partners to continue their commitment to ending Gender-Based Violence in The Gambia.
“UNFPA as always is committed to supporting the government and people of The Gambia to create a safer Gambia for all, where women and girls are protected from violence and empowered to live safe and dignified lives,” she stated.