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International Women’s Day 2019: #BalanceForBetter


On this auspicious occasion of the international women’s day celebration,the Women Affaires

Unit of the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) joins the rest of the world to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women to the socio-economic development of the Gambia.

Annually, March 8 serves as a day to reflect on the success- stories and strives of women, the value of women in our societies and the impact of the efforts of women in the development of our societies,and as role models to our younger generation. Despite constituting more than

50% of The Gambia’s population, women remain under-represented in parliament, Boardrooms and in other high-level positions. This forms the crux of the 2019 International Women’s Day celebration theme #BalanceforBetter, advocating for more inclusion of women in all spheres of national development.

The Women’s Affairs Unit of the TRRC reaffirms its commitment to gender equality, advocating for equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for women to balance thegender roles and mainstreaming of women issues in all spheres of national development. Most importantly, to see an increase in the number of women witnesses and or victims, and to safeguard their interest and protection during the TRRC process.

The theme for 2019’s celebration is #BalanceforBetter, a call for gender balance and women empowerment. Women in the Gambia have been inspirational in their various fields of work given the limited opportunities they have. They have furtherbeen breaking barriers by engaging in blue collar jobsthat were male dominated. This gives a clear indication of the potentials of women that when given the opportunity they will succeed in further increasing the economy of the country for the better. The patriarchal structure of our society limits the rights and opportunities of women. However, Gambian Women are known for their wisdom, strength and determination in independently working for a living, while at the same time being caregivers in their homes and communities.

Despite the achievements registered, the rights of women have been violated in various forms during the past two decades of dictatorship. From being accused of witchcraft, to being sexually abused by public officials and actors of the state, women experienced some of the worse human rights violations in The Gambia. The TRRC under its mandate, seeks to ascertain the truthful accounts of these violations and abuses and to provide appropriate support to promote healing. For the TRRC, inclusion of women in its process is paramount. We therefore take this opportunity to encourage women to come out and narrate their stories. Our doors shall remain open throughout this process.

The women’s unit at the TRRC, hereby wishes all the women of the Gambia a Happy International Women’s Day 2019.

Essa Jallow

Communications Specialist, TRRC

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