By Oumie Mendy
The Westminster Foundation for Democracy with funding from the British High Commission in Banjul conducted a two-day seminar for the National Assembly Select Committee on Gender, Children and Social Welfare under the theme ‘Advocacy on Inclusion and Equality.’
The seminar raised awareness and understanding of lawmakers about inclusion and equality to identify and address barriers to quality participation and increased representation of women in decision-making in institutions and politics.
Addressing the NAMs, WFD country representative, Madi Jobarteh, said the entire activity is geared towards promoting gender equality and the active participation of women in politics, particularly their representation.
“So, it is important to engage with the National Assembly Gender Committee given a role in oversight, representation and law making, and budgeting. We want them to look at things from that perspective, and that point of view. That our laws and budgets should be gender sensitive,” Jobarteh said.
Honourable Maimuna Ceesay, a member of the Gender Committee, extended her gratitude and appreciation to the Westminster Foundation for Democracy for their continued collaboration and support to the National Assembly.
NAM Ceesay said the knowledge, skills and experiences acquired during the two-day seminar would help their committee to better understand the mechanism for effective advocacy and better resource allocation to vulnerable groups, particularly women and girls, to improve their lives and livelihoods.
“The Gambia is not an island. This forum should therefore enable us to gain a deeper insight into global phenomena relating to institutions, trends and development initiatives targeting women and girls. This calls for a thorough review of our policies and priorities. Thereby aligning them with global realities to enable the Gambia to honour its international obligations on women’s equality, empowerment, and development,” she added.
She said understanding the concepts and skills of oversight needed to monitor all gender-related policies and frameworks will enable NAMs to better monitor progress of the implementation of all relevant programs, policies and legal frameworks affecting women and girls.
“Acquiring more knowledge on sexual and reproductive health issues as well as the rights and welfare of women and girls is crucial for National Assembly members especially for those in the Gender Committee,” she said.