NCCE calls for increased political participation and leadership of women
By Cherno Omar Bobb
The National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) has called for an increased political participation and leadership of women in the country.
The NCCE, with support from UNICE-Gambia under the joint UN Women Leadership Project, is currently conducting training for young people and youth networks on voter education and women involvement in leadership for peace and development.
Yusupha Bojang, the Programme Manager of NCCE, in his recent remarks at Mansakonko, stated that the training is part of several engagements his institution is rolling out ahead of the Local Government Elections.
According to Mr Bojang, the training targets about 240 participants mainly youths, women and girls in the URR, CRR and LRR.
“The training aimed at engaging young people and youth networks to enlighten them and build capacities in civic and voter education, and to hold community dialogues to advocate and support women’s political leadership,” Mr Bojang said. “The engagement will also enhance participants’ knowledge and skills to advocate and support inclusion and meaningful participation of women in politics and decision-making processes ahead of the 2023 Local Government Election.”
Mr Bojang further stated that despite forming more than half of the country’s population, women still lag behind men in terms of representation, leadership, and decision making. Although a lot of efforts were made and modest gains registered, there still remain huge gaps and challenges that continue to impede women political participation and leadership, the NCCE programme manager said.
According to Mr Bojang, the constraints and inhibitors preventing women from political participation, local community leadership, and peace-building processes include legal frameworks, cultural norms, and limited competencies of aspiring women, hence their low participation and representation in leadership positions.
“No meaningful development, sustainable peace and matured democracy can be attained without the involvement of all regardless of status and affiliation,” he remarked.
Honourable Landing Sanneh, the Chairman of Mansakonko Area Council, described the activity as “timely even though we are already into the 2023 Local Government Elections”.
He added that the situation would surely culminate and set in motion greater women participation in the next electoral cycle.
He noted that more work needs to be done to encourage the womenfolk to participate meaningfully in politics where their voices will be heard.
“If we leave our women behind there are all indications that we will not succeed,” he posited. “We want to succeed and we want to succeed together.”
Hon. Sirra Sabally, the Councillor for Bureng Ward, also spoke on the need for women to muster the courage and seek for elective positions just like their male counterparts.