By Ramatoulie Jawo
Honourable Seedy SK. Njie, Deputy Speaker of Gambia’s Parliament on Thursday addressed the 145 Inter -Parliamentary Union (IPU) assembly in Kigali, Rwanda.
The theme of his address was “Gender equality and gender-sensitive parliaments as drivers of change for a more resilient and peaceful world”.
Honourable Njie said the issue of gender equality and gender sensitiveness has indeed been a simmering topic of discussion in recent years by all actors in the democratic decision-making processes.
“It is coming at a time when the world is
grappling with protracted political upheavals and insecurity, as a result of prevalent policies of intolerance and discrimination across the globe. It is therefore, very topical and could not be more relevant,” he said in a statement.
He added that over the years, the responsibility of advocating gender equality rested entirely on a few women and organizations.
Njie said it is encouraging that the responsibility the issue has now been shifted to parliaments as institutions representing the diverse interests of all citizens.
According to him there is a glimmer of hope in the drive to promoting gender-sensitive parliaments as many parliamentary institutions around the world are moving away from their traditional male-dominated membership towards advocating for more gender equality.
“implementing that change would involve looking at the institution itself with a critical eye, acknowledging unseen barriers that deter the presence of women, limit their participation and or hinder progress towards gender equality, and then taking strong action to address them,” he added.
Honourable Njie laminted that the key obstacles hindering gender equality are more of culture and religion. It is high time we break these barriers and elect women to leadership and decision-making positions.
“The government of the Gambia under the leadership of His Excellency President Adama Barrow is a staunch advocate and champion of gender equality and women empowerment the Gambia has ratified and domesticated most regional and international conventions relating to women,” he told gathering.
The deputy-speaker ugred the IPU as the sole global parliamentary body to provide the necessary tools to support parliaments in assessing and monitoring gender-sensitivity in terms of their organization and working procedures.
He concluded by encouraging all Member Parliaments of the IPU to make the most of the 145th assembly by joining voices and efforts to make significant global impacts in the promotion of peace, gender equality, and sustainable development for the benefit of their people.