The day’s event held last week under the theme, ‘effective participation of women in governance and leadership positions’ in Brikama, Kanifing and Banjul and was funded by the National Endowment for Democracy.
In a remark, Mary Small the senior programme officer while deputising the executive director of Gamcotrap in Banjul said: “The project seeks to enhance awareness and raise consciousness so as to engender structures of the key actors, political parties, local government structures and the media within the Greater Banjul area. The overall objectives are to enhance awareness and consciousness on the public and the relevant institutions on the need for women’s effective participation in governance and decision-making in the Greater Banjul area and as well address the gender gaps in governance and decision-making processes during the sensitisation sessions.”
She added that Gamcotrap is not a political party and has no affiliation to any of the existing parties.
“We fight for the existence of a democratic state that will facilitate women and other vulnerable groups’ participation in the democratic process. Promoting women active participation, going beyond their traditional roles always seems a threat to many especially our male counterparts but as the saying goes, ‘whatever a man can do, a woman can do’ and I dare even add that women can even do it better.”
Amie Bojang Sissoho, Information, Education and Communication coordinator at Gamcotrap said the workshop aimed at creating awareness on the importance of women’s participation in the democratic process with a view to promoting women in governance and leadership.
“Women have the right like any other citizen to participate in politics and involve in leadership positions and governance issues as well. [Therefore] women should be ready to take up the challenges themselves to vie for political participations and decision-making processes. We are not gathering women to edge out men but we are creating more awareness to see the full participation of women in politics and not to serve as only clappers, dancers, praise-singers and ‘Yaye Compins’ during politics.
“The issue of the selection committee has been raised in all these areas we visited and that has been a cause of concern that needs to be considered in our capacity as a women’s rights organisation to create awareness on such issues. If men are only in the selected committee obviously women will not be given that maximum attention they need and we shall work on that and see what’s best.”
Aji Awa Sillah Njie deputy Mayoress of Banjul City Council and ward councilor of Crab Island commented: “The workshop is very important as it deals with a subject that is very pertinent in a developing nation and the theme is very relevant and the timing of the workshop is very useful as we are about to enter a new period of political activity very soon.”