Women’s participation in democracy forum underway in Jenoi
Friday, April 27, 2012
At least 40 women and political party representatives in the country are currently taking part in a forum that center on ‘enhancing women’s participation in democracy’ at the Jenoi Agricultural Rural Farmers Training Centre in the Lower River Region.
The four-day capacity building training workshop for women and political party representatives is spearheaded by the West Africa Network for Peace-Building (WANEP)-Gambia, in collaboration with their implementing partners such as the United Nations Democracy Fund, Forum for African Women Educationalist The Gambia (FAWEGAM), and Pro-Hope International (PHIN). The confab seeks to discuss the challenges facing the women at the selection committee level, as well as the importance and the need for women’s participation in the democratisation process as part of the sensitisation process of the UNDEF project.
the occasion, the representative of the regional governor, Lamin Saidykhan,
applauded WANEP for the training, which he said is inline with the steps taken
in encouraging women’s participation in governance and decision-making. He also
said the training came at a right time, noting that development cannot take
place without women’s participation.
He stressed the need for women to be aware of the importance of coming out to participate in the governance process of their own affairs. “The importance of women participation cannot be overemphasised because if you allow men to take decision on your behalf always it is not a real democratic process as you might not be able to have a say in anything,” he stated.
then urged the women to participate fully in the democratic process to ensure
their enough representation in the forthcoming Local Government Elections
slated for 2013.
The national coordinator of WANEP, Pamela Cole, told the participants to be steadfast and attentive during the course of the training as it is to their benefit. She underscored that the main focus of the workshop is to promote democratic governance, decision-making and popular participation through electoral process and civic education.
WANEP focal point officer in the North Bank Region, Haruna Kuyateh, observed that women representative in political selection committee is “very low”, something he said is responsible for the low number of women in political positions. He however noted that this type of training will enlighten women and enable them to realise the importance of their participation in politics. While stressing that WANEP is making progress especially at the grassroots level, Kuyateh enjoined women to support each other for their empowerment and full participation at all levels.
The Lower River Region WANEP representative, Buwa Kinteh also harped on issues concerning selection committees of [political parties], which he said are mainly dominated by men. He however indicated that the level of women’s awareness in terms of participation in politic has now increased compared to the last 10 or five years. “The WANEP programme has brought more awareness among the women folk,” Kinteh said, while enjoining the men to give chance to women in order to have a full democracy.
Author: Yunus S. Saliu in Jenoi, LRR