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Women deserve a better deal

Apr 20, 2010, 10:36 AM

Change is inevitable, as society undergoes socio-cultural evolution.

While most things change for the worse, others have evidently gotten better.

One case is the role of women in society. Once seen as just mere wives, today there clearly exist a not too great disparity between men and women.

The ongoing changes in social, political and economic spheres in and around the continent entailed not only the raising of women's status and their role in society, but also their contribution towards making the continent what it's today.

The role of women in society has been greatly overlooked in the last few decades, but now it's become more evident to people.

In the early days, women were seen as wives who were supposed to cook, clean the house, and take care of the kids.

Most African women were not allowed to vote, while men took care of household expenditures and paying any bills that had to be paid. They faced all forms of discrimination.

Nowadays, women would voice their opinion in anyway possible, so that they could reach their goals.

Indeed, the role of women in society has always been an issue throughout the ages, including in Africa, and all over the world.

Here in The Gambia, women have over the years contributed, and continue to do so in key decision-making processes.

Women have over the years been in the forefront of development initiatives, geared towards enhancing the socio-economic development of the country.

To further boost their empowerment, the National Assembly last week passed the Women's Bill, which covers a wide range of issues relating to the rights of women and girls, as well as other related matters.

Divided into twelve parts, the bill seeks to establish a legal framework and related institutions in pursuit of promoting equality for women in society, and removing all forms of discrimination against women and girls.

The bill touched on, among others, specific rights of women, which require protection and are enforceable in a court of law, in addition to those rights protected under the Constitution.

Women and children need more protection, because they are always the most vulnerable in times of conflict.

They should be protected from discrimination and provide with special measures; they should be offered equal opportunities in securing employment, freedom to choose a profession and work, equal remuneration, treatment and benefits, protection of their health and safety at work.

Believe it or not, women's role in society cannot be under-rated, since no nation can develop without the full participation of its womenfolk.

"A woman uses her intelligence to find reasons to support her intuition."

G.K. Chesterton