By Kebba Jeffang and Amie Sanneh
GAMCOTRAP has at its head office on Saturday, 23rd August, 2014 concluded a one day workshop for both the electronic and print media practitioners on the promotion of effective participation of women in politics and leadership positions. The event was organised with funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
In her opening remarks, Dr. IsatouTouray, the Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP, told the participants that the programme is a continuation of the process of a project they have been implementing. She said few months ago, her organization has engaged women of different political backgrounds to discuss about measures that can assist the women within their various political parties in terms of leadership. She said the media is equally a key partner and raising their understanding and enhancing their capacity is important.
“A lot of representatives of media houses are present here to discuss matters relating to women’s participation in politics and leadership roles. Since 2008, we were able to assess and find out the impact which that programme has created in the society. We received calls from those who had participated in the sensitization as feedbacks who all showed their impressions. They even suggested to us that we should move ahead with it in order to continue registering the positive change and that is why we are here again,” she Dr. Touray .
She said they will ensure that women are aware of their rights, responsibilities and the dynamics, adding that it is high time that women are accepted to play any thinkable role in society without any barrier. She said women have all the rights to be part of those making the decisions.
“Women are not a threat to men and therefore that perception in men should be eliminated. It is just a matter of addressing gender imbalances just to make The Gambia a better place for all,” said GAMCOTRAP Executive Director.
Dr. Touray noted that there are issues that have emerged from the training on effective participation of women in governance and decision making back in 2008. She said they have realised from the participants that the political landscape is unleveled and that there should be respect for women’s leadership roles outside party politics. She identified the challenges as financial and resource constraints, anonymous threats and abuses, among others.
During the course of the programme, presentations were made by Dr. Isatou Touray on Gender issues in the promotion of women’s political participation in governance and leadership, Mrs. Amie Sillah of Foroyaa Newspaper presented a case study on women’s political participation, Mrs. Mary Small of GAMCOTRAP discussed the importance of women’s political participation in the promotion of women’s SRHR, Mrs. Amie Bojang Sissoho of GAMCOTRAP and Mr. Kebba Jobe of the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) dilated on the role of the media in the promotion of women’s political participation in governance and leadership, the role of NCCE to promote women’s political participation in governance and leadership, respectively.