Women right activists call for equal representation in Cabinet

May 16, 2022, 11:43 AM | Article By: Isatou Ceesay-Bah

Several Women Rights activists have called on President Adama Barrow's government to ensure equal representation in ministerial positions in the country, describing the current situation as unjust to women.

Currently there are three females in Cabinet and five in Parliament with more men in both arms of government than women. Therefore, scores of women activists have raised concerns over the disparity in the governance structure.

According to the official country statistics, women constitute the large chunk of the population, and 57% of registered voters are women. With all these indicators, gender rights activists felt that the current leadership positions do not commensurate with the realities in terms of equal representation.

Salama Njie, national network coordinator for West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP)-The Gambia, explained that they have successfully trained and established mentorship programmes for over 200 women from all registered political parties in The Gambia with the sole objective of promoting and increasing women representation in decision-making processes.

The gender activist said: "The recent development falls short of our expectations. It is rather unfortunate that despite women having the highest demography of about 51℅ of the population, they continue to be lowly represented in key decision making positions in the country.”

The meager representation of women in the country's most instrumental sectors, she added, remains a key impediment to the country's development.

"With all efforts that Gambian women have invested in Barrow’s re-election, they deserve something better,” Mrs Njie pointed out.

Elizabeth Kinta Gomez, outreach and advocacy coordinator for Peace Hub-The Gambia, said there are a lot of competent and hardworking women in the country and if appointed can give the country a balanced, yet sound leadership.

Miss Gomez stated that Gambian women voices can only be heard by putting them in right position and adjusting to a balanced system where everyone is represented.

Awa Gai, a barrister, expressed dissatisfaction over the issue, saying, it does not only widen the gap for women's representation but also other minority groups including religious and the differently abled  in The Gambia.

Ellen Ann, a human rights activist, said it is substandard that women make up the majority of the population but a small fraction is considered for leadership positions.

"Without women's meaningful participation in all aspects of life, specifically in politics, we will continue to see startling low numbers of women in leadership roles,” she added.

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