By Mama A. Touray
Westminster Foundation has recently held two-day training for the national assembly selects committee on gender held in a local hotel.
The project title is strengthening the National Assembly committee on Gender, children, and social welfare to raise political will in support of increased women’s political representation in decision-making at the national and local levels.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, WFD the country director, Madi Jobarteh highlighted the importance of women’s participation in politics saying the entire activity is geared towards promoting gender equality, and 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 role in oversight, representation, and lawmaking, and budgeting is fundamental.”
He continued: “To look at things from that perspective and that point of view of any law we make, how gender sensitive is this law, and the budget that we deliver or approved or how it did serve the need and welfare of women and girls.”
Hon. Maimuna Ceesay, the chairperson of the Gender Committee said the knowledge, skills, and experiences that would be acquired during the two days of training would help their committee to better understand the mechanism for effective advocacy and better resource allocation to vulnerable groups particularly women and girls with a view to improving 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. These 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 said.
However, she observed that at the end of the two days, Honourable Members, Subject matter Specialists, and staff of the Committee on Gender, Children, and Social Welfare is expected to acquire better skills and a greater understanding of the concepts and skills of oversight needed to monitor all gender-related policies and programs effectively and efficiently.
“We should be more proactive in establishing monitoring frameworks that will enable us to monitor the progress of the implementation of all relevant programs, policies, and legal frameworks affecting women and girls.”