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GADHOH female wing appeals to First Lady for more attention | LOCAL NEWS | Mamos Media LTD

GADHOH female wing appeals to First Lady for more attention

Mamos Media

By Adama Tine

The Gambia Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GADHOH), female wing on Sunday at its head office in Kanifing called on the First Lady, Fatoumatta Bah Barrow to turn attention to them as they feel isolated and not treated well from the society especially on issues of gender-based violence.
Mariama Baldeh, president of GADHOH female wing and a teacher at the Deaf and Hard of Hearing school in Brikama, said the community does not know that the deaf people have experiences and are very instrumental but instead they put focus on their disability.
“Having seen what is happening in the society against us, we would like to call on the First Lady Her Excellency Fatoumatta Bah Barrow to pay attention to us  and give us the best support she can.
“In our opinion and observations especially us the female deaf people, hearing women are going up when we the deaf are going down in training opportunities and other exposed facilities is unfair.
“As isolated deaf young women, we humbly call on Her Excellency the First Lady of this country for help on sensitization programs especially on issues of gender-based violence so that we can feel being part of the society,” she added.
According to her, “sometimes we see programs over the TV but because there are no sign language interpreters to interpret things for us, we do not understand what information they are sending but only watch over the pictures and read their lips. Basically we are left behind and not considered in our society,” she queried.
“It is through this training that I was able to fully understand that there are lots of violence against women in our society and also there are lots of deaf people that are included when it comes to violence against women,” she noted.
“As a deaf woman when am walking in the streets at most times, some men would use  harassing words on me that tantamount to emotional violence or sexual harassment,” she also said.
“Sometimes when am walking on the streets some men would attempt to take advantage of me because am deaf and would decide to hold my mouth and attempt to rape me,” she explained angrily.
She adds; “These is violence that we constantly face in our societies and as well as in our family settings.” She said some families discriminate deaf people and this is why GADHOH trained some deaf men on the violence that is happening in the society.
She urged the government to help GADHOH especially the female wing with funds so that they could be able to organize more trainings in the  area of gender-based violence that will reach their fellows in the rural areas.
Lamin M. Ceesay, development officer for GADHOH, said “we are here today to train our members on gender-based violence because it is very difficult sometimes for deaf people to understand  issues on gender-based violence.”
According to him, many of their members face lots of violence in society especially in areas of sexual and gender-based violence but at most times they are silent and do not report those cases to the police.
“We believe that deaf people do not have enough information when it comes to gender-based violence although we have others at the UTG as well as at The Gambia College but when it comes to gender-based violence, they are not given the opportunity to learn,” he added.
However, Ceesay commended the Network Against Gender-Based Violence through ActionAid and their partners for funding the training of 25 young deaf boys and girls on gender-based violence.
“Sometimes we attend workshops, we learn lot of things but at the end of the day when we want to have step down trainings, funding is always the problem so  that is why we are not sharing information with our other members,” he concluded.


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