Sep 24, 2014, 10:10 AM
The President of the ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians Association (ECOFEPA) Hon. Haddy Nyang has disclosed that The Gambia would house the headquarters of ECOFEPA.
Hon Nyang, the National Assembly Member for Jeshwang constituency, is a member of the ECOWAS parliament in Abuja, Nigeria.
She was elected President of ECOFEPA at the inauguration of the association in Banjul, in March 2010.
In an interview with this reporter, she said regional integration is vital, and as such ECOFEPA will continue to advocate for regional integration.
"ECOFEPA will continue advocating for regional integration. If there is no free movement of goods and services, there cannot be regional integration. Integration starts at the grassroots; so without that it will be difficult to achieve such a noble cause. We will collaborate with member states to strongly advocate for regional integration," she stated.
According to her, ECOFEPA is a non-profit making organisation that strives to ensure effective implementation of Article 63 of the revised treaty of ECOWAS, which she said, requires that member states harmonise, coordinate and establish effective mechanisms for the enhancement of cultural, social and political status of women.
"As parliamentarians we have our oversight functions. We deal directly with the grassroots, and through that we will do our utmost in fostering unity among women, ensuring conformity with peace agreements and protocols, and conventions sensitising women in the areas of politics, health, education and culture.
"This includes the promotion of female participation in leadership roles, and their participation in politics and the formulation of policies that will promote and encourage socio-economic empowerment of women, the promotion of peace and harmony, democratic principles and rendering assistance to female parliamentarians," she added.
On the issue of women's empowerment in The Gambia, Hon. Nyang noted that the President has empowered Gambian women with many women in key decision- making positions.
Noting that the Vice-President, Speaker of the National Assembly and several ministers are all women, she said, this has been possible through proactive measures taken by the government.