By Awa Macalo
The Female Lawyers Association of The Gambia (FLAG) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) recently staged a forum on strengthening women’s and children’s access to justice and community policing.
The event was designed to improve the wellbeing of women and children by providing them with necessary knowledge and abilities on access to justice and community policing.
Ingo Badoreck, Director, Rule of Law Program Sub-Saharan Africa, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, said violence against women and children remains the most widespread and pervasive human rights violation in the world with 35% of women, or nearly one in three, having experienced physical, sexual abuse at the hands of an intimate partner or another person over their lifetime, according to global estimates by the WHO on the prevalence of violence against women.
Badoreck further disclosed that women may face barriers in accessing justice and obtaining redress for violence. ”Gambian women face significant social and cultural challenges that can limit their access to education, employment and especially to justice,” he added.
Hon Fatou Cham, member of the National Assembly select committee on Gender, Children and Social Welfare explained that there is a need for women and children to have unrestricted access to justice and social services, and protection against abuses, manipulation, and violence of all types. She also emphasised that the National Assembly’s special committee on gender, children, and social welfare will see to it that women’s and children’s interests are fully represented and safeguarded to secure their wellness in society.