By Ramatoulie Jawo
The Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WDF) in partnership with the British High Commission in the Gambia commenced 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 objective of the seminar is to raise the 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 institutions and women in politics in general.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the country representative of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), Madi Jobarteh, highlighted the importance of women’s participation in politics.
“The entire activity is geared towards promoting gender equality, the active participation of women in politics, particularly their representation. In that process, having a specific committee for gender is important to engage with that Committee. So, giving them their roles in oversight, representation and lawmaking, and In budgeting. To look at things from that perspective, and that point of view. That Any law we make, how gender sensitive is this law, and the budget that we deliver or approved. How gender sensitive or how did it serve the need and welfare of women and girls,” Mr. Jobarteh said.
Hon. Maimuna Ceesay, a member of the Gender Committee, extended her sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) for their continued collaboration and support to the National Assembly.
Hon. Ceesay said the knowledge, skills and experiences that will be 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.
The Nominated members further said that they are expected to acquire better skills and a greater understanding of the concepts and skills of oversight needed to monitor all gender-related policies and programmes effectively and efficiently.
“We should be more proactive in establishing monitoring frameworks that will enable us to
monitor progress of the implementation of all relevant programs, policies and legal frameworks affecting women and girls; acquire more knowledge on sexual and reproductive health issues as well as the rights and welfare of women and girls,” she said