By Olimatou Coker
The National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) has called for increased women participation in politics and in key leadership positions.
The council with support from Unicef-Gambia under the joint UN Women Leadership Project is sensitising young people and youth networks on voter education and women involvement in leadership for peace and development.
Addressing one of the sensitisations in Mansakonko, the programme manager of NCCE, Yusupha Bojang, said despite being the majority, women representation in leadership and decision-making continues to lag behind compared to their male counterparts.
“Some gains have been registered but there still remain huge gaps and challenges that continue to impede women participation. The constraints and inhibitors preventing women from political participation, local community leadership, and peacebuilding processes, includes; legal frameworks, cultural norms, and limited competencies of aspiring women. No meaningful development, sustainable peace and matured democracy can be attained without the involvement of all regardless of status and affiliation,” he added.
He said the sensitisation is part of several engagements his council is rolling out ahead of the local government elections. Bojang said the six days training is targeting 240 youths, women and girls in URR, CRR and LRR.
“The sensitisation aims at engaging young people and youth networks to enlighten and build their capacities in civic and voter education, community dialogues to advocate and support women’s political leadership. It will enhance participants’ knowledge and skills to advocate and support inclusion and meaningful participation of women in politics and decision-making ahead of the LG elections,” he disclosed.
Landing Sanneh, chairman of Mansakonko Area Council, said the activity could not have come at a better time, adding that it will set the agenda for greater women participation in the next electoral cycle.
He said more work needs to be done to encourage women to participate meaningfully in politics to ensure their voices are heard.
“If women are left behind, there are all indications that we will not succeed so if we want to succeed, we should include women in whatever we do,” he said.
The Councillor for Bureng Ward, Sirra Sabally urged women to come forward and seek for elective positions just like their male counterparts.