AWLN Gambia Chapter launched
By Cherno Omar Bobb
The African Women Leader Network (AWLN) Gambia Chapter was on Tuesday launched bythe First Lady of the Republic of The Gambia, Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow at Coco Ocean Hotel under the theme: “Supporting women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion for enhanced leadership.”
The National Chapter was launched by the African Women Leaders’ Network, in collaboration with the African Union Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security and UN Women.
The Gambia became the 33rd country to launch its national chaper during a colorful event attended by high level delegation led by the AU Special Envoy and dignitaries from around the world.
The launch aims bring to light concrete strategies and measures to increase women’s participation and inclusion in Gambia’s ecomony, financial and political systems. It aslo seeks to enhance cohesion between women across fields and backgrounds; senior women leaders, rural women, and young women to drive change through Africa’s Agenda 2063, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will further offer Senior African women leaders an opportunity to engage with women enterpreneurs from rural areas and the grassroots, foster more robust mobilisation, and find avenues to amplify their voices for enhanced women’s leadership.
The National Chapters are made up of accomplished women leaders and professionals from different fields, backgrounds, and generations, and operationalised across six thematic pillars: Peace and Security, Female Political Participation, Financial Inclusion, Promote Young Women Leadership, Empower Rural Women and Social Mobilisation.
The African Women Leaders Network was constituted in 2017 by the African Union and the United Nations supported by the Federal Republic of Germany and South Africa at the UN General Assembly in New York. The Network is an African-wide movement of women for the transformation and development of the continent through women’s dynamic engagement and participation in decision making at all levels of society, in line with the Africa agenda 2063 and the global agenda 2030.
Muna Jallow, the National Coordinatorand Co-Chair of AWLN Gambia National Chapter said the launch of the national chapter will empower and inspire Gambian women in their efforts towards national development and other undertakings.
She added that they will work to create opportunities for women to take leadership roles at all areas. She highlighted that when women come together, they achieve great things, noting that they will therefore work with women of all ages, background, religion and race.
She also expressed their readiness to work with all development organisations to make an impact in thelives of Gambian women and advance their rights.
Dr. IsatouTouray, the Former Vice President of the Republic of The Gambia said despite The Gambia’s efforts to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, women remain under represented in political decision-making positions and currently hold only 9% of parlimentary seats.
She added that despite the government’s initiatives, the ‘wellbeing of Gambian women continues to lag significantly behind that of men. Therefore, she said initiatives and key measures such as gender mainstreaming; capacity development of women enterpreneurs; establishment of a fund to improve access to finance; legislative reforms and advocacy for enhanced representation and participation in decision making are contributing to women’s economic development.
Dr. MomodouTangara, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad of the Republic of The Gambia said he hopes the young girls will look up to the network and be inspired to achieve more success in life.
Hon. Fatou Kinteh, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare of the Republic of The Gambia said women have become more active in contributing to national development since the establishment of her ministry.