The women leaders made this comment on Wednesday at a local lodge in Brikama during a day-long forum to create awareness on the importance of women’s participation in the democratic process. The forum was attended by about 50 women leaders from registered and active organisations. The event is part of a series of such fora organised by Gamcotrap, a leading women’s right NGO in the country to sensitise women on the importance of their participation in governance and leadership processes of the country. The undertaking is part of a project being implemented by the women’s right NGO with the financial support of National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
It has emerged during this forum in the discussion of the women that most of them are not aware of their civic and political rights because of their lack of formal education. The national constitution and all other policies and programmes including those geared towards empowering the women are written in English. And little efforts are done to make the teeming number of uneducated women in the country to understand the content of these documents.
Therefore, the Brikama women leaders said one of the best ways to fully enhance their participation in the political and leadership processes of the country is enlightening them through the national media and in the local languages.
However, Kebba Jobe, a representative from the NCCE, said they used to have civic awareness programmes on the GRTS TV and radio but it was very expensive. He said the NCCE used to pay D20,000 (US$526) per hour at the TV and the radio about D3,000 (US$78) per hour, twice the amount charged by private commercial radio stations in the country. He pointed out that this is why their programmes at the national media could not be sustainable.
Amie Bojang, programme coordinator at Gamcotrap, said the NCCE being a national institution, should be given weekly one hour on the national media to sensitise people about their civic rights rather than be playing music for hours.
Author: Lamin Jahateh]]>