BCC mayor urges women to harness political opportunities

Jul 6, 2023, 11:18 AM | Article By: Isatou Ceesay Bah

The mayor of Banjul City Council (BCC), Rohey Malick Lowe, on Wednesday 5 July 2023 pointed out that there is no reason why women should not seize the opportunity and the advantages that exist, while forging ahead with their political agenda and not to pay attention to intimidation and hate speeches. 

The Banjul mayor made this statement at the advocacy training workshop on Gender for women councilors organised by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.

Mayor Lowe besides noted that she thinks women need to be supported and encouraged to join politics. According to her, it is a widely held view that when women are in decision-making and political leadership positions, society stands to gain. 

She also said that limited capacity on the part of the women hinders them from standing up for their rights.

“There is the lack of political will to ensure gender equality is respected at all levels of governance and in all sectors of the society. The Civil Society Organisations pay little focus on gender issues which to me, needs a lot more of attention as it is a global issue,” she stressed.

Lowe acknowledged that joining politics requires financial resources and women generally are unable to afford the huge financial demands – saying that mainly accounts for women’s non-engagement in politics. 

Rohey also stated that the government of The Gambia has elaborated a National Gender Policy with the aim of achieving gender equity and women empowerment as an integral part of the national development process through enhancing participation of women and men, girls and boys for sustainable and equitable development and poverty reduction, which she believes is a laudable initiative.

However, she added that it would be interesting to know how far this policy has been implemented.

“One of the recommendations that can resolve this issue across board is to adopt a quota system. Senegal, our close neighbour is enjoying 47% of women’s representation at the local level. This is because they have adopted the list system whereby any list that any political party submits must have a 50 – 50 representation of both men and women. This has solved the gender leadership representation at local level. “This or a similar architecture may be a solution to getting more women in politics especially at the local government level,” she suggested.