There is no gainsaying that empowering women to participate fully in our economic development across all sectors is essential in order to build stronger economies and in achieving internationally agreed goals for our development and sustainability.
We have seen in the last few years that women have taken up key decision making positions in the country as well as turning out to be successful entrepreneurs and employers, thus making a positive impact on the socio-economic development of The Gambia. This is to a very large extent as a result of the policies and the enabling environment created by the leadership that allowed them to thrive in their different endeavours.
During the course of the last week, two important events took place in provincial Gambia that is meant to celebrate our women and further consolidate the gains so far been made: The celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child in the Central River Region and the FIFA Live Yours Festival held in Jarra Soma in the Lower River Region.
The Soma event culminated with a friendly football match between The Gambia Women’s National Team and Casa Sport of the Senegalese premier league. As noted by the chief of Jarra West, whatever men can do, women can equally do it and he was proven right as the girls entertained the large crowd to a football spectacle by securing an emphatic 5-1 win. Their performance is further indication that with similar amount of investment and support like in men’s football, the women game can bring us the desired results.
The pledge made by our football authorities to close the gender gap in the national game is indeed a welcome development. The decision to assign women to officiate men’s a football is a testament of the commitment from Football House but it will require a collaborative responsibility to attain our goals. Therefore, they require the support and collaboration of everyone.