Deputy Speaker addresses World Inter-parliamentary Union on gender

51
image 47

By Omar Bah

Addressing the 145th World Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) General Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda, yesterday  the Deputy Speaker Seedy of the Gambian National Assembly told his colleagues from Africa that The Gambia is a staunch advocate and champion of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Njie informed the session that The Gambia has also ratified and domesticated most regional and international conventions relating to women.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We have also passed into law a Women’s Act in 2010 and its amendment 2015, the Domestic Violence Act 2013 and the Sexual Offences Act 2013 and a new National Gender Policy 2023 -2033 is being formulated to succeed the 2010- 2020 Policy on Gender and Women Empowerment by the government through the Ministry of Gender in consultation with relevant stakeholders. The policy aims at ensuring inclusion of women and demystifying the negative perception against them,” he added.

The deputy speaker further told the gathering that a new National Gender Mainstreaming Strategy Bill has been formulated and would be tabled before the National Assembly for enactment.

“However, despite these advances, there is still room for improvement, more specifically on the participation and representation of women in governance. Notwithstanding, we would not rest on our laurels, we will continue to champion gender and women empowerment at the level of parliament,” he said.

On the international front, Njie described gender equality and gender-sensitive parliaments as drivers of change for a more resilient and peaceful world.

“This discussion is coming at a time when the world is grappling with protracted political upheavals and insecurity as a result of prevalent policies of intolerance and discrimination across the globe. It is, therefore, very topical and could not be more relevant,” Njie said.

Njie argued that the key obstacles hindering gender equality are more of culture and religion.

“It is high time we broke these barriers and elect women to leadership and decision-making positions. Therefore, this august Assembly is envisaged to provide an excellent opportunity for our community of National Parliaments to come together to strengthen parliamentary efforts to drive change and address global issues by reaching agreements and consensus on legal frameworks, policies and actions encompassing the theme of this year’s general assembly,” he stated.