May 8, 2008, 5:41 AM
Mrs. Hydara made these remarks last Friday at the end of a seven-day training and orientation for Women Councilors at Paradise Suites Hotel on their roles and responsibilities.
That particular training, she said, is line with the National Policy for the Advancement of Gambian Women 1999-2009, the CEDAW, the African Protocol on Women and Children.
She made it clear that councilors should know their roles and responsibilities adding that they are empowered by an act of parliament.
The Women Bureau executive director said serves as the support base of the National Women's Council and Bureau she continued that apart from its other functions it has the role of gathering information, dissemination of information, research and analysis for the betterment of Gambian women.
According to her, the Bureau also assists the council in the monitoring of programmes and projects, forging linkages with other institutions on the socio-economic and political front, reviewing bills legislation policies programmes and new technology. In so doing, the Bureau, she said provides information as how these issues may affect women.
She added that the Bureau helps in the capacity building and training needs of stakeholders. When asked about the Bureau's achievements, she reiterated that a lot has been achieved but was quick to say that there are still some challenges.
According to the executive director, the new councilors have a unique opportunity of coming together and being told of their roles and responsibilities. She said that councilors are now in a better position to understand the need for cohesiveness amongst themselves as leaders, to be able in the final analysis to manage large groups in their various communities.
She said the Bureau is currently supporting 31 women's vegetable gardens all over the country and those communities not benefiting from this project will be given milling machines and loans. Councilors, she said, were informed that the garden projects, coupled with the provision of milling machines if successful as a project, will go with the construction of storage facilities in each of the regions for the benefit of the citizenry. She went on to tell councilors that they should cherish this project. She warned the councilors that there will be challenges, hurdles and obstacles put in their way, but with determination and steadfastness, she said, they will succeed. She added that as representative of women, councilors no matter their conflict of interest should all work towards the common goal of eradicating poverty among women. In her final remarks, she told councilors that the Women's Bureau will do all that is possible in support of their work and where possible their mobility in the execution of their duties. She urged them to familiarize themselves with the documents given to them and be equally au fait with their content.