NCCE trains women councilors on gender responsive budgeting

NCCE trains women councilors on gender responsive budgeting

By Cherno Omar Bobb

The National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) with support from UNFPA under its Human Security Project recently concluded trainings for Women Councilors, Local Government Authories, Ward and Village Development Committee members, and women and youth leaders on advocacy for gender responsive budgeting and participatory planning across the country.

The training under the theme: Breaking the Barriers Advocacy for Gender Responsive Budgeting Development”was aimed at promoting participatory planning and mainstreaming of gender supportive budgeting within the decentralized structures.

Ansumana Ceesay, senior program officer for NCCE in his remarks at Mansakonko said despite continuous efforts by several stakeholders and actors in advocating for inclusion of women in governance process discourse especially for women, there still remain challenges in realising their meaningful involvement and active participation especially in development and governance processes such as planning and budget consultations at the grassroots decentralised structures.

Mr Ceesay described the inclusion and participation of women and young people in the decentralised structures and local governance as critical in realising rapid and sustainable development especially at community levels.

He added that creating the environment and space for women in active and meaningful involvement and participation in decision making in general, requires huge commitment and thoughtful effort on the part of every element of the society.

He went on to say that participatory planning and integrating gender-responsive budgeting is critical in empowering women and marginalised communities, as well as ensure inclusive and sustainable development.

“By integrating gender considerations into the budgeting process, we can ensure that public resources are allocated fairly and effectively to address the specific needs and priorities of women, girls, and other vulnerable groups. This approach not only promotes social justice but also enhances the overall impact of public spending,” he stated.

SPO Ceesay further said that participatory planning fosters citizen engagement and ownership in the development process. “It also strengthens transparency, accountability, and the effectiveness of local governance.” He thanked UNFPA for their support.

Baba Jammeh, secretary for Lower River Region Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) dwelled on the importance of women involvement in development initiatives, noting that development cannot be sustainable if women are not involved. He therefore encouraged Councils, WDCs, VDCs and other development partners to actively involve women during their planning and budget preparations.

Hon Fulladu Jarju, nominated woman councillor at Mansakonko Area Council said there are a lot of barriers which hinders women participation in grassroots governance, but noted that trainings of that nature will break such barriers. She encouraged participants to disseminate the messages to group and/or institution they represented.

Hon Neneh Isatou Jallow, ward councillor for Jekoko Ward in Jarra West District thanked NCCE and partners for the training. She described the training as timely as some WDCs are working on their ward development plans. She said the knowledge gained will equip them with the skills for inclusive participation during their  plannings.

She urged government and other development partners to support NCCE to continue to conduct awareness training.

According to the Jekoko Ward Councillor, the knowledge gained from the women leadership training and other training sessions conducted by NCCE and other stakeholders inspired her to contest for the April 2023 Local Government Elections which she eventually won.


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