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UN celebrates International Women’s Day

Apr 21, 2011, 2:36 PM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

Senior government officials from the Ministry of Education and students recently gathered at the UN House in Cape Point to mark the celebration of the International Women’s Day.

The theme of the celebration was “Equal access to education, training science and technology, pathway to decent work for women”.

Speaking at the celebration, Matarr Baldeh, a representative from Worldview International Foundation, said the theme for the International Women’s Day this year “is pertinent but daunting in so many ways”.

“First, it is important to unpack the meaning of decent work. Given the multifaceted nature of decent work as a concept, this must take cognizance of the quantitative aspects of decent work,” he said.

He named employment, wages and income, working time and social security as well as the wide-ranging and inherently qualitative nature of social dialogue, the functioning of labour markets and the application of International Labour Standards (ILS), as prerequisites for decent work.

These and other aspects, Mr Baldeh said, have underpinned International Labour Organisation (ILOs) on decent work, and recently it has gained wider prominence with recognition accorded to the goal of decent work within the agreed international development agenda, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Tida Jatta-Jarjou from the Gender Education Unit, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, noted that education is a key part of strategies to improve individuals’ well-being as well as societies’ economic and social development progress towards better governance.

“More effective conflict resolution, increased competiveness, reduced fertility, improved health and most importantly accelerated poverty reduction, are ultimately related to progress in education and training,” he said.

The Worldview representative explained that at the individual level, education is the ultimate liberator, empowering people to make personal and social choices.

Amicoleh Mbaye, director of Basic and Secondary Education, thanked the UNDP for observing the International Women’s Day Celebrations and more specifically the 2011 edition whose theme is dedicated to Equal Access to Education, Training, Science and Technology, A pathway to Decent Work for Women, a phenomenon that still poses a big challenge the world over.

“This being a special year for us should be a period of reflection by all women on our status and achievements,” the activist said.