ActionAid International The Gambia in partnership with the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), on Saturday, commenced a weeklong caravan tour to provincial Gambia to sensitize the District Tribunal and authorities on the need for women’s inclusion to District Tribunal Court as members. The move aimed at promoting women’s rights and also providing opportunities for them to express themselves adequately to tribunal sittings to ensure fair dispensation of justice.
Fafa Cham, Head of Programmes and Policy at ActionAid International Office described the campaign as fundamental, noting it aimed at promoting women’s participation in key decision-making. He noted that the absence of women’s representation at the District Tribunal Court posed serious challenges for women to seek redress from the tribunal, citing marital and land problems.
Mr. Cham disclosed that out of 53 districts across the country, only 8 districts have women at the District Tribunal Court and noted that the agency will continue to engage and create awareness to ensure by 2024 all districts have women representatives at the District Tribunal Court.
Tabu Njie Sarr, Women Rights, and Governance Manager said the advocacy programme aimed at enlightening district authorities and chiefs to support the women empowerment drive.
Women’s participation, she said, is key for women’s economic empowerment, and therefore the campaign aimed to raise public awareness of the significance of women’s protection against injustice and maltreatment.
Chief George L Sonko of Lower Nuimi thanked Action Aid and its partners for their commitment to women’s empowerment and protection. He disclosed that the district, already, has the first female badge messenger and promised to include women in tribunal court and challenge stakeholders to support the payment of women court members.
Aja Mary Taal a women leader for Barra described the outreach as important and believed that women can contribute to the maintenance of peace and stability in society. She, therefore, assured of women’s support and collaboration.
Michelle Mendy, Councilor for Essau Ward said it will provide an opportunity for women to express themselves while disclosing that the office of the chairman of Kerewan Area Council has promised to pay the allowance of women representatives at district tribunal court.