Gambian civil right advocates objects to Barrow’s cabinet reshuffle

Monday, July 02, 2018

A network of national NGOs, individuals and women’s right advocates in The Gambia who call themselves Transitional Justice Civil society Platform Saturday issued a statement contesting President Adama Barrow’s Friday reshuffling of his cabinet that shows the going of his vice president Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang and replaced by foreign affairs minister Ousainou Darboe.

They said the new changes totally contravenes international norms and standards as reiterated in instruments such as the CEDAW which calls for 30% women representation; Maputo Protocol of the Banjul Charter, the AU protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and the ECOWAS Gender and Development Policy both of which calls for equal representation across all sectors. 

The presidency Friday announced that President Barrow has effected a cabinet reshuffle which show his vice President Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang now going for foreign service and replaced by foreign affairs minister and leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) Ousainou Darboe.

The changes also show the coming of two former President Yahya Jammeh’s appointed ministers Mamburay Njie and Momodou Tangara as finance and foreign affairs Ministers respectively.

“We are strongly concerned that the country’s women are grossly unrepresented in the new cabinet from 20 to 10%. Whilst four women Ministers were appointed from 2017 to 2018, the reshuffle showcased only two women Ministers which is 10% of the total executive.”

They said the provisions of Section 26 of the 1997 Constitution on political rights (subsection a,b, and c); Section 28 rights of women (subsection 1 and 2; section 33 protection from discrimination (subsection 1,2,3,4,5 (subsection 2a-d) and Section 6 subsection 3 and 5; section 7 subsection 3 which all talk about protection from discrimination  is  seriously undermined by the recent reshuffle.

The right activists also believe that Women are underrepresented in the new Gambia, saying their resolution is demanding for new dispensation where women will be significantly holding positions in the cabinet, National Assembly, local Government council, agencies and parastatals. “The ministry of women’s affairs is under the purview of the vice president’s office and the news release is silent on the issue of the women ministry. We therefore recommend to the executive in consultation with the Gender Platform that Women are adequately represented all levels of governance.”