By Olimatou Coker
Dr. Isatou Touray, the former vice president, who returned as the executive director of Gamcotrap, has urged National Assembly Members to reconsider bringing back the draft constitution in order to empower women in leadership and politics.
She was speaking on Tuesday during a national dialogue organized by the United Nations which was meant to promote women’s leadership held in Tamala hotel.
The Gambia’s transitional and democratic processes are advancing well with more space for political dialogue, freedom of expression, and socio-economic development as ushered in by the second republic in 2017. However, women, who make up more than half of the population and a full 57% of the registered electorate, continue to be chronically under-represented in leadership and decision-making positions, which limits peacebuilding and social cohesion towards the attainment of the peace and development goals of the Gambia.
Dr Touray said the draft constitution had a very good plan for gender equality.
“So bringing such a document back will require thinking through,” she said, adding that when the draft was introduced in parliament, men had numerical advantage.
“I was present when it was being presented and even myself, I did not know that the bill was being brought in at that day.
“Women need to be paid for their jobs, need to be recognized and their agents need to be appreciated because you cannot understand having 57 members in parliament with only 5 or 3 women as representatives. It is a fundamental question we need to ask ourselves.”
She added that women and youth need to be empowered, and also to empower the population to understand that women can bring a big difference in governance.
“We hope that the constitution will come back because a country cannot run without a proper constitution,” she said.
Ms. Seraphine Wakana, UN Resident Coordinator, said that gender promotion has been a priority for them at the UN.