Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of
Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP) is a national, non-governmental
feminist organisation in Gambia (NGO no: A21) which
was established in February 1984 and registered as a non-profit
institution in 1997.
It is active in investigating
female genital mutilation,
campaigns for the end of FGM and sensitizes women about other
harmful traditional practices in their communities while
promoting beneficial customary practices.
GAMCOTRAP was founded at a meeting organised by the WHO in
Dakar, Senegal, held between the 6 to 10 February 1984. The
meeting was called the 'International Seminar on Traditional
Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children'. The main
focus of the seminar was to examine the various hurdles and
issues women were confronted with regarding reproduction. These
problems were seen to have a strong correlation to the different
types of traditional practices performed on African women around the
GAMCOTRAP is focused on the preservation and promotion of
girls, and women's sexual, social, political, education and
• To lobby & advise on policies to preserve & maintain
children & women's rights.
• To determine & enhance traditional practices that elevates the
status of women & girls.
• To promote awareness in national & international statutes &
conventions that tackles violence & discrimination against girls
• To encourage women to participate in politics & in elected decision
• To encourage and advocate for the education of girls at all grades.
• To inform and lobby policy makers and decision takers
about social & cultural customs that are detrimental to the
health of females.
• To employ the rights based strategy into their activities.
Fundraising to finance their activities locally and
• To fight for and defend the human rights of females.
To perform research into traditional practices that touch on the
reproductive and sexual health of girls and women.
• To foster greater awareness about the detrimental effects
of traditional practices, especially female genital mutilation,
inheritance matters, the gender dimensions of HIV/Aids, early
girl marriages and culturally prohibited foods.
In order to arrive at their goals, GAMCOTRAP is engaged in
regular and strategic awareness and training programs at the
grassroots level. These community grounded training schemes
are aimed at community and religious leaders, children, women,
men, teenagers, medical practitioners, policy makers, civil
society organisations, gender rights activists etc.
Their geographical area of intervention covers the Banjul
capital, Upper, Lower & Central River Regions, North Bank
Region, Kanifing Municipality and the West Coast Region.
Being a feminist organisation in The Gambia, GAMCOTRAP are committed to
struggling against injustice they see in the various communities
around the country. It
also acknowledges the practical and moral support of males who
are concerned enough to help in the struggle of women and girls.
Their foremost objective is to strengthen grassroots
organisations and people as well as those who formulate policy
to back women's issues towards equality. It has a policy to
recruit both men and women towards meeting its agenda however,
the institutions leadership positions will always be held by
Areas of Intervention:
• Disseminating information through newspapers & radio
• Documentation, publications and research
• Programs based at the community grassroots level
• Running a trust fund for girls' schooling
• Sensitization campaigns, workshops & seminars
• Support of other NGOs
• Training & consultancy
• ActionAid - The Gambia
• African Women Development Fund
• American Embassy - Banjul
• British High Commission
• Child Protection Alliance
• FOKUS - Norway
• Future in Our Hands
• German Embassy
• Global Fund for Women
• Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices (IAC)
• Management Development Institute (MDI)
• National Aids Secretariat of Gambia
• Niyo - Sweden
• Pond Foundation
• Open Society Initiative West Africa (OSIWA)
• Save the Children UK
• Secretary of State for Women's Affairs
• Urgent Action Fund For Women's Human Rights
• RAINBO Organization (RAINB)
• UNIFEM (now UN Women)
• US State Department of Health
• US State Department of Education
• WLUML (Women Living Under Muslim Laws
• Women's Bureau
• World Health