PRESS RELEASE: THE CIVIL SOCIETY GENDER PLATFORMT

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

The CSO Gender Platform is a Women’s led association comprising of Women’s Rights organization in The Gambia, GAWNET, FAWEGAM, TYW, WOOD, TANGO, ACDRHS, TGA, GPU, ICTJ, APGWA, ACTIVISTA, ACTIONAID, WANEP, ROAGJEF and individual Women’s rights advocates. It affiliates with most regional and international women’s rights movement. In collaboration with the Network of Women Peace and Security in the ECOWAS Region (NOPSWECO), the Gambia Chapter and The Working Group of Women, Youth Peace and Security in West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) expresses with concern the recent happenings threatening the peace of The Gambia that we enjoy as a people. 

Within the framework of the transitional Justice Process currently, the CSO Gender Platform acknowledges with pleasure the setting up of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, children and Social Protection. It’s a giant stride towards Gender Equality and empowerment and encourages the Government to allocate adequate resources for the effective running of this new and important ministry. Whilst commending the Government in this endeavor, the platform realizes that women’s representation in leadership and key decision making positions leaves much to be desired in the new administration and the transitional Justice Process. It is reminding the Government that the UN 30% standard women representation in leadership and key decision making positions is achievable. 

In the process of consolidating democracy and the rule of law, The Platform expresses great concern of the intolerance, divisiveness and impatience of people which are a source of violence. The platforms would like to remind the general public that the Gambia and her people are one and there is no room in addressing frustration using violence.

Reacting to the three years Jotna, the Gender platform calls on the Coalition Members, to a dialogue in order to mitigate undesirable situation that may lead to unrest and misunderstanding, in the interest of peace and development. The Platform is of the view all stakeholders within the framework of the confusion of 3-year agreement of the Coalition and 5 years rule according to the Constitution has responsibility to guard the peace and tranquility of the beautiful Nation of ours, young, old, men and women. Therefore, the Platform tasks all stakeholders to be mindful of language used in speeches and mob action.     

The Platform joins human rights defenders in condemning sexual and gender-based violence of all forms in the strongest terms.  Sexual violence of any type is a serious violation of human rights which leaves a traumatic and unbearable pain. It can never be tolerated, accepted, or condoned.  The Gender Platform stands in solidarity with all victims and survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based violence whilst encouraging them to come forward and seek redress.

Weekly political rallies are a common platform for attacks and intimidation by politicians and party sympathizers, disrespecting for the political cycle of the Gambia inciting hate and polarization of the population especially the vulnerable (women and young people). The members of the Gender platform hereby call on all political leaders to practice responsible politics in the interest of peace and social cohesion knowing that politics is a potential source for disagreements and violence.

 The CSO Gender Platform commends the security agents of the Gambia for maintaining law and order with professionalism and consideration during the recent event at the TRRC and Kairaba Police Station, Wednesday the 25th June 2019. It notes that The Gambia is coming to terms with its unfortunate past yet realizes that no matter how hard it is, there are potential opportunities, socially, politically and economically.

The CSO Gender Platform expresses profound gratitude for the support it has continued from the years from United Nations Transitional Justice Peace support office, (UNTJ) United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Office of the High Commission for Human Rights and ECOWAS Gender Center Dakar and her committed members to drive the Gender agenda in the Transitional Justice process of The Gambia.

# CHILABOKA, NDACHIJEH, AM PART OF THE DECISIONS

THE CIVIL SOCIETY GENDER PLATFORM