By Sailu Bah
GAMCOTRAP on Thursday 30th October 2014 at the Banjul City council held a one -day workshop on Women in Governance and Leadership for different youth and women groups in Banjul.
This workshop is sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy. The workshop is aimed at creating awareness on the importance of women’s participation in the democratic process with a view to promoting the participation of women in governance and leadership.
Mr. Mattar Njie, the Banjul City Council Director of Administration spoke on women’s participation in politics and urged all participants especially the women who have a greater part to play in ensuring that they are empowered to fully participate in governance and leadership.
Madam Amie BojangSissoho, IEC coordinator for GAMCOTRAP, said the workshop is aimed at promoting the effective participation of women in good governance and leadership position for progress in the country and to promote equality and justice between the two sexes. “Women have the right like any other citizen to participate in politics and involve in leadership positions and good governance issues as well, therefore women should be ready to take up the challenges for themselves” she advised.
Madam Awa Sillah Njie, Deputy Mayor deputizing the Mayor of Banjul welcomed every one to the occasion. “As you know this workshop is organized as part of an ongoing campaign to sensitize the public and all relevant stakeholders about the need for women’s participation in politics and the role in decision making,” She added.
She further quoted an African leader who said “the complete Liberation and unification of the African continent cannot be achieved without the emancipation of the African woman.”
“The participation of women in governance and leadership position is prerequisite to the kind of emancipation we envisage,” she noted.
She said the theme of the workshop is very timely and relevant as well. She added that it comes at a time when people are witnessing greater awareness by women of their values and roles in the politico socio and economic development of the Gambia.
In conclusion she commended GAMCTRAP for the laudable initiative and partnership as well.
Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP, Dr. Isatou Touray said her organization continues to engage in series of training programmes geared towards raising awareness on effective participation of women in governance and leadership positions.
“This project is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in its bid to supporting democracy around the world. The project started in March 2014 and targeting 150 Women Leaders, 50 representatives from the various political parties, Fifty media personnel who were drawn from the print and electronic media including community radios all from the Greater Banjul Area. Today, the project focuses on three hundred youths drawn from the Greater Banjul Area. In Banjul 100 Participants will participate in this workshop, tomorrow the training will take place at Kanifing and the third day will be held in Brikama. The purpose of these series of debates is to raise the awareness of the population to advocate for the effective participation of women in the political process,” she explained.
“The objective of the project is to enhance awareness and consciousness of the public and relevant institutions about the need for women’s participation in governance and decision making process in the Greater Banjul Area,” Dr. Touray noted.
She Said the representatives of civil society organizations addressing women and human rights issues across Africa, assembled to deliberate on the progress in implementing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in Africa since the last review (Beijing +10), and added that to validate the Africa Regional NGO Shadow Report on Beijing +15 which incorporates national and sub-regional reviews from women’s civil society organizations and networks at the meeting in the margins of the 8th Africa Regional Conference on Women (Beijing +15) on November 15 and 16, 2009 in Banjul, The Gambia; in preparation for the Africa Women’s NGO Consultative Meeting Beijing +15 Review November 16, 2009 – Banjul, The Gambia.
“In the Gambia, efforts were made to respond to these calls made at the conference held in Banjul and the first support which was provided by OSIWA in 2008 resulted in positive gains for Gambian women in Politics. I am glad to note that out of 20 aspirants for elective positions as councilors we registered 15 who won such positions indicating that women are ready to engage in vying for politics and elective positions. However the field was not level and the political terrain was challenging for those women who were trying to break the glass ceiling,” She revealed.
Amie Sillah in her presentation on case study on women’s political participation said among other things that a man and a woman should come together in Unison and harmony to make sure that the country is developed.
She emphasized the importance of education being a key for women to take up the challenges in involving themselves to occupy high leadership positions. “Few women out of many are at the National Assembly as parliamentarians, and this doesn’t satisfy the rightful participation of women.