The leadership training will be in series and it will be for the same batch of female would-be politicians. The project is expected to span 2 years.
The West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) has began a two-day leadership training for fifty female politicians ahead of the next electoral cycle.
The training which aims at increasing women participation in politics is supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
The women chosen from the 9 registered political parties in the country were to undergo various trainings in peacebuilding and leadership.
According to WANEP, the fifty women were identified by their various parties to contest as candidates in the 2021-2023 electoral cycle.
The WANEP-Gambia National Coordinator, Salama Njie said the would-be politicians will be taken through the essentials of campaign planning, message development, public speaking, media relations, fundraising and campaign management to enhance their winning chances.
She said women trained by WANEP during previous election cycles would be invited to share their experiences, challenges and successes with the current crop of trainees.
“I am of the firm conviction that, having a critical mass of women in decision making positions will play a critical role in promoting gender equality and facilitate women’s participation in all aspects of life,” she said.
The minister of women affairs, Fatou Kinteh said although women form more than 50% of the country’s population “their representation in decision making positions remained very low and we have ourselves to blame”.
“I see no reason why we cannot elect more women into the parliament,” she said.
“… It is only when we have more women in important positions that our problems can be solve. Now that we have the ministry of women affairs we should take advantage of the opportunity and stand for one another and ensure that we elect more women into important offices.”
“We cannot continue to leave our destiny in the hands of men,” she added.
Meanwhile, the UNFPA country resident representative, Kunle Adeniyi, said the UN system in Gambia is committed to supporting processes that would advocate for peace in the Gambia.
“A country like Rwanda has more women in parliament than men and is the most progressive country in Africa. Women when empowered are also very crucial in maintaining peace in any country,” said Adeniyi.
The training began on Wednesday at Metzy Hotel and it ends on Thursday, after which other series of trainings will be held with the same batch of people.