Govt. Committed To Women's Empowerment

Friday, October 09, 2009

The road to gender equality and women's empowerment has been a long struggle and this is indicative of its evolution and paradigm shift from earlier feminist approaches, to women in development and now gender and development approaches.

The government of The Gambia is committed to women empowerment and gender equality through numerous programmes and activities, such as free maternal care, free education for girls in Region 2 to 6, etc.

In view of this, the Ministry of Women affairs, under the Office of the Vice-President on Tuesday 6th October validated Beijing +15 National Report and the AU solemn declaration report, held at the Paradise Suite Hotel in Kololi.

According to Madam Fatou Jasseh Kuyateh, the Permanent Secretary at the Office of the Vice-President, the full ratification of the major international conventions on the rights of women by The Gambia includes the Beijing + 15 Platform of Action, CEDAW and the AU solemn declaration.

She further pointed out that the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995, has ushered in a new era in terms of addressing women's empowerment and advancement. 

"Earlier discussions on gender and women empowerment has often being accompanied by many misconceptions, but one thing that is clear to all developments-oriented individuals, institutions and governments is that men and women are partners in development, as well as men to ensure sustainability," she maintained.

PS Jassey Kuyateh further pointed out that, the inception of this platform has carried with it, a call for governments to accelerate their efforts towards addressing gender inequality since The Gambia government reiterated its commitment to critical areas of concerns of the platform.

According to her, this year's report is special and significant as The Gambia will host the eighth African Review Meeting of Beijing + 15 from 16th to 20th November 2009; noting that findings of the report will be presented during the regional ministerial review conference that will consist of the expert group meeting and ministerial conference. She revealed that representative from governments; women networks, NGO's gender institutions and experts from various organisations will attend the EGM, to debate and validate the Beijing +15 African Report.

According to her, the expected outcomes and recommendations will form the basis for the plan of action to be implemented by its member states, noting that A.U Heads of States had adopted the African Union solemn declaration on gender equity in Africa in July 2004.

Women boss further maintained that the report provides information on the existing situation, regarding the institutional policy and legal mechanisms in place for women empowerment and gender equality in The Gambia, as well as progresses made since the adoption of the declaration with regards to its specific provisions.

"You have been selected as technical persons and experts in various critical areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for Action and the A.U declaration to ensure that our national report presents a true picture of our efforts at promoting gender equality in The Gambia," she concluded. 

Author: Abdourahman Sallah