May 30, 2011, 2:26 PM
The West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP-The Gambia) Monday began a four-day mentorship training for women in democracy and the political dispensation process in The Gambia.
Held in partnership with PRO-HOPE International and the Forum for African Women Educationist (FAWEGAM-The Gambia), with support from the United Nations Democratic Fund Project, the capacity building training course is on the theme “Enhancing Women’s Participation in the Democratic and Electoral Process in The Gambia.”
Underway at the Rural Farmers Agricultural Training Center in Jenoi, Jarra West District in the Lower River Region, the training brought together some 50 women from the political parties across the country.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Pamela Cole, National Coordinator of WANEP-The Gambia, outlined the significance of the training session, stressing that it is meant to empower and encourage the womenfolk to effectively participate in the decision-making process in The Gambia particularly at this time when the National Assembly and Local Government Elections are forthcoming.
She went on to encourage the women to unite and support each other’s endeavors, noting that the issue at hand is not about their political differences, but how women can come together to form a common bloc that would make it possible for women to ascend to leadership positions in society.
The WANEP national coordinator further challenged the participants to take the training seriously, so that they can impact on society using the knowledge and skills they would acquire during the course.
“We want this forum to signal the commencement of the nurturing process to transform women to serve as effective leaders in our various localities”, she asserted, whilst emphasizing that women’s participation in the democratic dispensation is fundamental to the meaningful development of any country.
She also thanked their implementing partners, as well as the donor for their foresight to support the cause of Gambian Women.
Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the governor of LRR, Lamin Saidy, the coordinator of the Disaster Management Committee in the Lower River Region, commended The Gambia government under the leadership of President Yahya Jammeh for the endeavors to empower Gambian women, stressing that concrete steps have been taken by the government in the past two decades to mainstream women into the political and developmental process of the country.
He went on to thank WANEP and partners for taking up the challenge to empower the womenfolk by building their capacities, adding that the training will go a long way in encouraging Gambian women to actively participate in the political process of the country.
He further called on the participants to actively participate throughout the training, so that they can efficiently share the knowledge and skills acquired from the training with those women in the larger community within their various localities.
Ms. Anna Jones, WANEP UN Democracy Fund project assistant stated that the training is among a series of ongoing capacity building forums, geared toward empowering women with the required knowledge and skills to actively participate in the country’s decision making process. source:WANEP