Gambia hosts World Deliver Women’s Forum

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Gambia has hosted the World Deliver Women’s Forum; a major international forum on women,  organised by World Movement  for Democracy  Centre  for International  Private Enterprise in collaboration  with  Future  In Our Hands  The Gambia.

The forum aims to strengthen  women  voices in governance  and broader society by exploring  mutual interests among women leaders  from government,  civil  society  and other  private  sector, and encouraging effective  partnerships to strengthen  inclusive  in the Gambia.

It is expected  to provoke  lively  discussion  and peer- to - peer learning  opportunities on topics of policy advocacy  and implementation of Gambia’s Nation Development  Plan, responsive governance in The Gambia: Ethics,  society,  economic and political  inclusion, inclusive approaches to entrepreneurship and policy engagement.

Hannah Forster,   Executive  Director,  African  Centre  for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, who spoke on strengthening  women voices  in governance  and broader society in The Gambia said while women  comprise 56% of the electoral body, they are seriously underrepresented  in elected and appointed bodies.

“With a female presence of only 7% in the National Assembly, they form less than 23 percent in local councils and about 17% at the level of the central executive,” she said.

She added that gender rights present challenges from multiple perspectives, ranging from deficit in political party participation and representation to a culture of marginalisation of women and violations of their fundamental human rights.

“Moreover, women are discouraged to voice their problems and concerns and are exposed to constant pressures of a patriarchal society.  We must note the importance of women participation and accept that they most lead the change in making democracy deliver.”

Madam Forster also said the important role that women play in processes and providing all the opportunities possible for the benefit of the communities and the nation need to be recognised.

“Women need to be encouraged to get out of our comfort zones and reach across the different sectors to find mutual interest in advancing inclusive democracy policies and reform that benefits us and our communities,” she added.

According to her, Government efforts need to be complimented, saying all hands must be on deck and the role of women in government, public and private partnership cannot be overemphasised.

Kumba Sanneh, board chairperson of Future In Our Hands applauded the partnership towards the campaign from starting to date, saying she has been hoping that there will be a fulfilled outcome at the end of the forum.

Sarata Conateh, programme officer of Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry highlighted the need for support to provide the enabling environment for business to grow. She also highlighted the partnership between her institution and Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) towards the development of businesses, especially young entrepreneurs.

Author: Sanna Jallow