I write with great sense of honour to express my delight and respect for the recent appointment of Mrs Sifai Hydara-Bojang as the new Governor of the West Coast Region. Mrs Hydara’s appointment is historic in the sense that she is the first female to be given such a high profile local government portfolio to handle.
As has been reported in your Tuesday’s publication, the new Governor is widely regarded as the most popular politician in the region and has worked as a community development officer, served as lady councilor from 1996 to 2003. From 2008, she also served as a senior manager at the Kanifing Municipal Council. This is indeed encouraging.
However, the move is indeed timely as the world finds itself in a moment where all have roles to play in the realization of meaningful and sustainable development irrespective of gender, race or origin. The appointment also teaches us that women are crucial players in driving the development agenda of our dear motherland.
Conversely, it is important that we ask ourselves whether women empowerment only stops at holding public offices. No, it does not. Women empowerment cuts across so many aspects of life. Women as key partners in national development should be fully involved in the decision making processes so as to yield better results for the socio-economic development of our country.
It is imperative for policy makers to come up with sound policies that are going to address the range of dilemmas impeding the development of women in the country. It is equally important for the government to come up with strategies and mechanisms that will be geared towards improving their livelihoods in the country, particularly the rural women. These form the bed-rock of women empowerment in any given society and should be the concern of every government as far as women empowerment is concern.
Back to Sifai’s appointment, I am of the full conviction that this would set the stage for us to have more women governors, and even women chiefs. Yes it is possible. But this can only be a reality when we see them as possessing equal potentials as their male counterparts and not as a feeble sex who can only be followers and listeners. The cause of women should not be the great concern of all and sundry and must not be an issue of politics or any other things that will jeopardize the move towards their empowerment.
To Gambian women I say, it is important that you all work together in harmony. You must put aside your political and any other differences you have and work towards a common goal. The goal of which must be the attainment of a dignified and prosperous life for all women.
West Coast Region]]>