Monday, March 27

Network of Women in The Arts, others celebrate IWD –

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

By Yunus S Saliu

The Network of Women in The Arts in collaboration with the National Centre for Arts and Culture and Alliance Francaise, on Wednesday, joined the world to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) at Alliance Francaise along Kairaba Avenue.

The celebration was marked with the Women’s Art Exhibition and will follow with the Women of Excellence in The Art Award scheduled for Friday, 10th March at Ebunjan Theatre.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Tourism and Culture (MoTC), Mamadi Dampha saluted female artists present at the auspicious IWD celebration which this year was celebrated with a distinct female character.

He said arts and culture is the soul of a nation “His Excellency President Adama Barrow is a great lover of culture and since assuming power in 2017 gave utmost respect to Gambian artists as seen in the numerous audiences he has granted to art across the sectors.”

Therefore, he noted, that the Ministry appreciates the fact that despite the challenges they are facing in the sector such as lack of funding and infrastructure, “you are soldiering on dancers, writers, poets, filmmakers, promoters, producers, painter photographer and so on.

He told them to rest assured that the Ministry is working with NCAC to ensure that the female artists and all artists work in better conditions.

Justine Guschlbauer, director of Alliance Francaise thanked the VIPs for their participation and for making the event possible.

International Women’s Rights Day, she explained, has its origins in women’s protests in the early 20th century in Europe and the United States, demanding better working conditions and the right to vote. In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March.

She said the Alliance Française de Banjul, as a cultural and linguistic center, works actively to bring the voice of women: entrepreneurs, artists, and innovators, therefore, “I would like to thank NCAC once again for the partnership we have. We are pleased to host a series of events at the Alliance on the occasion of International Women’s Rights Day. Amongst these events the Women Art Fest Fair will be held at the Alliance until 11th March thanks to the NCAC, showcasing the work and skills of Gambian women entrepreneurs and artists. 

“The Alliance through the Gambia Tech project is actively working towards the 2023 theme “For an inclusive digital world: innovation and technologies for gender equality” and is hosting a special event and social network to support young female entrepreneurs. The Alliance will also offer a free screening on its premises around Women’s Rights Day.”

She commended the initiative of NCAC in launching last year the Women in the arts in the Gambia network, to raise awareness and advocate for the rights of women artists. 

Hon Bakary Badgie, the Minister of Youth and Sports wished all the women a happy IWD and an extension to the men too.

He noted that International Women’s Day is used to celebrate the women which consist half of the world’s population “and in the Gambia, they are half of the population so they need to be celebrated to remember them for all the good things they do.”

Minister Badgie highlighted some of the activities undertaken by women either at home, in office, community, family, neighborhood, and in different sectors of life where they are mostly underpaid, and under-rewarded as compared to their men folk.

He said the day should not be celebrating alone but thinking about what individuals need to do collectively about what can be done to change the plight of women to make their life more convenient for them to continue to do the good job they are doing.

He said the government has taken several strides to change the laws and bring in laws that are against domestic, violent acts against women, and so on.

Hassoum Ceesay, Director General of NCAC, a representative from GIEPA, Matty Jobes of the Network of Women in The Arts among lots delivered speeches at the celebration.