in collaboration with UN Human Rights on Monday commences a two days training
forum to enhance women participation and representation in politics.
Presiding over the official opening, the vice president and minister of Women’s Affairs, Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang expressed total appreciation to be associated with this forum.
She went on to lament on the need to organise these kinds of forums, while describing the forum as very timely.
“I don’t belong to any political party; I am independent because being independent makes me to help any woman that belongs to any class of society.”
She said she will ensure that every woman takes her rightful place in the New Gambia. This Forum, she added, is in line with the National Development Agenda and current political dispensation for women to participate fully. She pointed out that Gambian women must work hard in order to balance gender equality and to access all development sectors.
“This forum is a facilitation measure to ensure that women fully participate in politics and to mentor and guide to expand the role for women to enter the political life.”
“Women are the majority of the electorates and play an instrumental role in the organisation and development of the political parties. I have no doubt this event will developed strategies on the way forward for women involvement in Gambian politics.”
She said that the government of the New Gambia has challenge the Ministry of Women Affairs to address the constraints that hinder their participation in politics.
The chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Alieu Momar Njie said that despite a level playing field, women representation still remains very low. “This is mainly being associated with social or religious sentiments that bar the massive participation of women in elections especially as candidates.”
The IEC chairman concluded that laws relating to elections in The Gambia provide various opportunities for the participation of women in politics. He added that women have equal rights and opportunities as men as there are no fundamental restrictions denying them their rights.
The UN Resident coordinator, Madame Ade Leokejie also said that Gambian women remain under represented as political leaders and elected officials.
“The Gambia National Assembly has only three elected members out of the 53 elected representatives. The percentage of women elected in office in The Gambia is below the 30 percentage target of the African Union. This situation persists despite their political abilities and agents of change.”