#Article (Archive)

Gov’t demonstrates commitment to security, development of women –DPS OVP

Oct 30, 2014, 10:09 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

The deputy permanent secretary at the Office of the Vice President, Ms Bintou Gassama, has said the Gambia government in further demonstrating its commitment to women`s security and development, developed a national action plan to that effect.

The national action plan has also been put in place based on the recommendation for member states to develop national action plans to fast track the implementation of UNSCR 1325, she added.

She made this statement while delivering her official speech at the opening of a day-long training activity on peace building for women and security forces, organised by WANEP-Gambia and held yesterday at the NaNA conference hall.

“The Government of the Gambia has amply demonstrated its commitment to peace and security by ratifying international conventions and enacting them through various national laws and policies to ensure the protection of women`s rights, women`s empowerment and sustainable development,” she said.

Ms Gassama stressed that ensuring and maintaining peace and a conflict-free environment is paramount and strategic to the security and development of The Gambia and Gambian women, in particular.

“It is gratifying to note that The Gambia has not experienced any major conflict since 1981,” she said, adding:“Nevertheless, it is situated within a region that has witnessed conflict during the past decades.”

She said Gambians have traditionally always found ways of preventing and resolving minor disputes and conflicts, based on the norms and values of the society passed on from generation to generation through socialization.

Realising the important role women play in national development and the impeding factors that hinder their advancement, raising public awareness and advocating for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and other gender laws guaranteeing the rights of women is crucial, she noted.

“In The Gambia, various strategies have been put in place to mainstream a gender perspective and to ensure women`s participation in all aspects of conflict prevention, resolution, peacebuilding, decision making and reconstruction, as well as preventionof all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, the value of which we cannot underestimate,” she said.

She said the Gambia government has ratified many international conventions, and enacted various national laws and policies to ensure effective gender mainstreaming and the protection of the rights of women and girls.

These, she added, include the Women`s Amendment Act 2012, National Gender and Women Empowerment Policy 2010-2020, Children’s Act, Trafficking in Persons Act, the Refugees Act and recently, the Domestic Violence and Sexual Offence Acts of 2013.

According to her, the office of the Vice President and Ministry of Women`s Affairs is planning to conduct a baseline study on women, peace and security, the outcome of which will inform the development of a gender-based policy on peace and women`s rights.