#Article (Archive)

Would Everyone Tolerate What Women Suffer?

Mar 28, 2008, 6:22 AM

We commend Mrs. Amie Sillah, a gender activist, who represented The Gambia at the CSW (Commission on the Status of Women). CSW held its 52ndedition in the United States recently. In a revealing interview with The Point she has outlined the work of CSW. She said it, "provides a distinguished place in the UN agenda that is entirely devoted to examining the state of progress for women." This is indeed a noble enterprise especially in the context of the other facts she revealed in the interview. Mrs. Sillah said, "Women still comprise the majority of the world's absolute poor and are without access to education. Additionally the disparities in pay for equal work in paid work, continued high maternal mortality, prominent HIV infection rates, and the pandemic of violence against women are clear indicators that our commitments to this gender specific issues must be redouble."

The case for a redoubling of efforts cannot be more succinctly outlined than it is above. It will be to our eternal shame if we do not knock down and smash all barriers to the empowerment of women. Women are the backbone of our nation. Their contribution to the lives of us all cannot be overstated. If we do not redouble our efforts and become a shining example of the empowerment of women on the continent of Africa the generations that follow us will mock us for our failures. Is it not deeply shocking to think that in 2008, in a civilised society, which is on the difficult path to development, that we might have one of our female citizen's outline what Mrs. Sillah outlined in her interview with this paper? A good way to think of this is if the above situation were to apply to the entire population instead of just women. If every man woman and child were to constantly suffering violence at the hands of others, was denied education, was subject to discrimination and were the victims of prominent HIV infections would society tolerate it? We are all too aware that there would be outcry and very possibly all out revolution until the people got the rights to which they are entitled. While we must commend the efforts that are being made towards the empowerment of women we must keep the above scenario in mind at all times. It must be the fire underneath us; a perpetual reminder that we must continue and redouble our efforts so that women can be allowed to take their proper place at the table. There is no doubt we are moving in the right direction; what we must do now is accelerate the process. This acceleration will be boosted through the wonderful work of women like Mrs. Amie Sillah and Dr. Isatou Touray but ultimately the change we need to achieve can only become a reality if everybody in the nation works together towards this goal.