GTU marks International Women’s Day

GTU marks International Women’s Day

By Cherno Omar Bobb

The Gambia Teachers’ Union (GTU) recently joined the rest of the world to commemorate International Women’s Day, which is celebrated globally on March 8th.

The day is set aside to recognise women for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. The theme for this year’s event; “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.”

At the event, Marie Antoinette Corr, general secretary of the Gambia Teachers’ Union (GTU), said the day was not only to celebrate the remarkable achievements of women across the globe, but also to reflect upon the strides made in achieving gender equality and empowering women in all spheres of life.

She reminded that the theme for this year’s event resonates deeply with the ethos of this day.

“It serves as a powerful call to action, urging us to recognise the immense potential and talent that women bring to the table and to invest in their education, healthcare, economic opportunities, and leadership development. By doing so, we enrich women and foster inclusive growth and sustainable development for entire communities and societies.” she stated.

The journey towards gender equality, she believes, is far from over and that despite significant progress in recent years, women and girls continue to face barriers to their full participation and realisation of their rights.

To that end, she outlined the need to break the systemic barriers that hold women back and to create a more just and equitable world for all.

Ismaila S. Ceesay, president of the Gambia Teachers’ Union (GTU), reminded that empowering women in education and decision-making is not only a moral imperative, but a strategic necessity.

He added that when women are allowed to learn and lead, they become catalysts for progress, driving positive change that benefits entire communities and societies.

Ceesay revealed that women educators have long been at the forefront of nurturing young minds, imparting knowledge, and instilling values of compassion and empathy.

However, he noted that, despite their invaluable contributions, women in the education sector continue to face barriers and inequalities.

“These inequalities need to be looked at holistically and a permanent solution is needed. Women need to be empowered, women need to be given what belongs to them, it is about time they reclaimed their lost glory.” he stated.

He thus called on the Gambia government, political parties and other stakeholders to prioritise women’s problems, noting that, despite the large number of women in the country, they are still marginalised at the decision-making tables.

Ceesay described investing in women as not just the right thing to do but also the smart thing to do.

For her part, Tabou Njie Sarr, said investing in girls’ education at both primary and secondary levels will improve the country’s economic conditions.

She called on women to stand alongside each other, show solidarity for each other, and stand for each other.

“We are not threats, we are a force to reckon with and just want the best for our families, communities and The Gambia.”

For her part, Claudiana A. Cole, then minister for Basic and Secondary Education, while advocating for more empowerment of women, acknowledged that when one invests in women ‘you invest in progress.’

She maintained that women should be celebrated every day as they are the custodians of society and contribute immensely to national development.

“Societies cannot progress and development cannot take place if women are left out of the equation,” she stated.


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