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Birth of National Women's Federation

Nov 29, 2010, 11:04 AM

We join the rest of the country to congratulate the Women's Bureau and the National Women's Council for launching of the National Women's Federation.

We also congratulate and wish the women of The Gambia more grease to their elbows in their march for total emancipation.

While we by no means underestimate the fact that it is a daunting task to make our patriarchal society realize, and accept the womenfolk to be equal partners in nation-building, we would acknowledge that quite a lot has been achieved, thanks partly to the sustained efforts by many of our women’s rights activists.

However, while we commend the achievements, we also know that there is still quite a lot left to be done in order to get justice for our sisters, in this country and elsewhere.

It is a well-known fact that women, especially rural women, are still grappling with the problems of inadequate access to land to cultivate their crops, or even when they do so, the lack of storage and marketing facilities continues to hamper their productive endeavours, especially in poor countries like The Gambia.

Gambian women have, over the years, called for the launching of such a federation that will in one way or the other help in addressing some of the challenges they face.

Despite the fact that government has put women's empowerment on top of its agenda, we still call for more empowerment of the women, especially those in key decision-making positions.

Support for the Federation towards the realization of the multi-million dalasi market complex would also help in promoting, among others, their financial independence and, therefore, real empowerment.

One thing that was fundamental in the launching is that, irrespective of party affiliation, Gambia women came together to launch the federation.

This trend, we believe, should be a continuing process, as all Gambia women, irrespective of party politics, must come together when it comes to nation-building.

Let it not be a one-off thing, that is, only seen at the march past, and heard in the pronouncements of the various speeches during the occasion.

The National Women's Council and the Women's Bureau must work to involve all women in the development process, based on the fact that unity is the strength of any organization that wants to be successful.

For the Federation to be successful women’s movement, it is our conviction that Gambian women should not allow themselves to be divided; since should this happen, then it would simply defeat the whole purpose of forming their new national Federation.

"United we stand; divided we fall"

Aesop

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