REFELA, The Gambia received funding from United Nations Development Programme, The Gambia, to build the capacities of its members and to equip them with communication skills for the advocacy of a gender-balanced political system followed by awareness creation on The Gambia.
The campaign would cover thematic areas such as Political empowerment of women, the economic and political empowerment of women and the role of women in peacebuilding.
REFELA President Rohey Malick Lowe said they are a non-political body geared towards complementing government efforts, CSOs and women empowerment.
“The organisation is created mainly to empower women because REFELA women are women of substance,” she said.
She added that women should not be left behind in decision making, noting that: “Women should be part of any development of the country especially the post-presidential election.”
“When it comes to politics everyone decides what to do but when it comes to the development of the country everyone should come together as one family,” Mayor Lowe noted.
Isatou Njie, Coordinator REFELA, The Gambia said elections are approaching,hence women are vulnerable so they find it necessary to talk to them, sensitise and prepare them for the post-electoral processes.
She said women are not supposed to be backbenchers but rather should be working side by side with men to gain what rightfully belongs to them.
John Charles Njie, chairperson of The Association of Non-Governmental Organizations in the Gambia, (TANGO) said women participation in politics is non-negotiable, adding that it is time for Gambian women to stop being cheer leaders and begin to demand and take responsibilities in political positions.
“Politics must not divide us. We must be one Gambia despite our political differences,” he said.
Oley Dibba Wadda, representative of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare said women as mothers and carers have a crucial role to play in the maintenance of the country’s peace as we prepare for December presidential elections.
According to her, global statistics on women’s political participation at all levels are not well documented.