#Article (Archive)

International Women's Day

Mar 9, 2010, 10:40 AM

Yesterday, March 8, was observed across the globe as International Women?s Day, set aside by the international community to reflect on the plight of women. The theme for this year is "Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities and Progress for All."

It has been 15 years since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing decided on a global platform for action on gender equality and women's empowerment. And 8 March 2010 gives us the opportunity to share experiences on what successes have occurred since then.

We must all stand for equal rights, equal opportunities and progress for all.

"It sent a clear message to women and girls around the world that equality and opportunity are inalienable rights. Until women and girls are liberated from poverty and injustice, all our goals - peace, security, sustainable development - stand in jeopardy, said UN Secretary Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message to mark the day.

As we mark this day we need to reflect on the challenges faced by women. That is, the issues that affect their overall well-being be it social, political or economic.

Women face gender-based violence, discrimination and sexual harassment all suffered by women at homes, work places, schools among a host of other places. 

Considering the contribution of women in the socio economic development of our country and the world as a whole, one would realized that this important segment of society deserves more than what they now experience.

We must not lose sight of those great women who have made their marks in Gambian history. This special day is dedicated to all women and we, therefore, congratulate our mothers, sisters, daughters, niece and wives.

Respect for the rights of women is paramount, and we should not at any pointing in time violate the rights of women. Women, just like their men counterparts, need and deserve good jobs, dignity, respect and self-determination. 

In the Gambia, women serve as house wives, doctors, nurses, farmers, petty traders just to name a few. It is imperative that we see them as partners in development and not rivals. Children must respect their mothers just like men should equally respect their wives.

Violence against women must stop now! Just imagine a world full of men and without women, and how such a world would look like? As such, the two sexes must see each other as partners who are interdependent. We rely on each other for our survival. Once again, we congratulate all women on this International Women's Day. 

"We must stand for equal rights, equal opportunities and progress for all."

Ban Ki-moon