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Women's participation in politics

Oct 12, 2010, 12:51 PM

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 is today.

While many has overlooked their role in society over the years, there is no doubt that women's role has 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.

In The Gambia, the latest report of the Public Accounts/Enterprises Committee of the National Assembly, among others, highlights the low participation of women in politics? This is of great concern despite the fact that, here in The Gambia, women have over the years contributed, and continue to do so, in key decision-making processes.

Yes, we have a female vice president, female National Assembly speaker; we also have some women ministers, permanent secretaries, directors, alkalolu (village heads), among others, but these are all positions to which they have been appointed. Thus, there is still room for improvement.

Since we are approaching an election year, it is high time that women be given a chance to fully participate in national politics, and to take their rightful stands in order to exercise their democratic rights.

They should not only be classified as ordinary members of political parties or subjected to singing and dancing, but instead they should have the right to contest for top political positions in the country.

It has been realised that, in most political parties in the country, women are not taking the lead, and our political parties should give chance to women to take a leading role in their affairs.

Gambian political parties should nominate female candidates for political positions, while women themselves should support each other to make their political dreams come true.

"Women are the majority of the population, but a minority in politics."

Kellyanne Conway