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Women’s empowerment is key for any democracy

Aug 26, 2011, 12:01 PM

The bold  move taken by the Female Lawyers Association of The Gambia (FLAG) by  inviting political parties in the country to increase the participation of women’s political representation ahead of the forthcoming presidential, parliamentary and local government elections  should  indeed be commended as a step in the right direction.

Politicians have to remember that gone are the days when women are only given the role of clapping for their usually male political leaders, instead of empowering them to take leadership roles in their political parties, including encouraging them to fully contest elections.

The participation of women in the political arena is very important in any democracy.

So it is still not late for political parties to start working on how best to bring on board more women this time round to contest in the scheduled elections.

Women’s empowerment is critical to the development of national politics, and their participation must not be limited to giving them top position in the party hierarchy, but should now be given the chance to participate fully in the political process.

This is the only way that women will feel that they are part of the process.

The time has come for our political party leaders to know that without the full involvement of women it would be very difficult for them to win elections.

So, therefore, since women are key in any democratic process, let it not be only mere lip service.

What we want to see is action now, by all the national political parties, to put forward several female candidates in all future elections.

We call on the respective party leaders to make a difference this time, so that other countries in Africa will learn from the Gambia’s example.

People are watching to see the outcome of the next party selections for the elections.

Let us all work together for the empowerment of our women, and the betterment of women in the country as a whole.