Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), with funding from the United Nations
Population Fund (UNFPA), last week launched a programme on women mentorship in
leadership and peacebuilding, at a local hotel in Senegambia.
The project is meant to increase women participation in decision making processes and empower them to become agents of community conflict prevention. The launching ceremony brought together women leaders from different regions in The Gambia.
The mentorship programme targets to increase the number of female aspirants for the 2021- 2023 electoral cycle at regional and community levels that will promote peace, inclusiveness and national ownership. It is also envisaged to increase women participation in peacebuilding for social cohesion since they are key figures in the society and to create a platform at regional level, share their stories and learn from each other.
“Statistics show that women constitute 51% of The Gambian population and yet made up only 9% in parliament and 21% in cabinet,” WANEP national coordinator, Salam Njie said at the launch.
She said the same trend follows in other key decision making areas, saying that is rather unfortunate.
According to her, WANEP and UNFPA realised that women leaders can play a critical role in putting up gender-sensitive policies and environment that would promote gender equality and facilitate women participation in all aspects of life. “Women leaders can play important roles through the demonstration effect of being effective leaders. Don’t underestimate the impact of this; women in leadership positions can change societal perceptions about women potential and inspire other women and girls to aspire to lead,” she said.
She commended the women for their willingness to give their selfless time to share their experience and advice, and for investing in the next generation of Gambian women politicians.
Mariama Jammeh from WANEP thanked UNFPA for coming up with the project to increase women participation in decision making processes and as agents of community conflict prevention.
She said the programme aim to bring women leaders from different regions in the country to serve as a platform to discuss some of the challenges they face and to come up with recommendations to mitigate their challenges.