By Saikou Suwareh Jabai

      The Gambia Teachers Union (GTU) Status of Women’s Committee on Thursday, 17 March, 2016, joined the global Cole, Mendy and Badjiecommunity in observance of the International Women’s Day. Held at the Regional Education Directorate 1 in Kanifing on the theme ‘Step it Up for Gender Equality’, the day was marked in the form of a symposium which created a platform for knowledge sharing and networking.

In her welcoming remarks, the Director of Regional Education Directorate 1, said the program will allow the participants to focus their minds on the status of women. She noted that the teaching fraternity is populated by women and as such, the program will go far enough in celebrating their achievements and mapping out ways to resolve their challenges.

The Vice Chairperson of the Status of Women Committee, Mrs. Saffie Nyassi, noted her committee said women have demonstrated that they are crucial and reliable in the development of any meaningful nation. She enjoins women to continue contributing to the social, economic, cultural and political achievement.

The Principal Education Officer of the Basic Education Directorate, Mrs. Anna Nancy Mendy, said it will create an opportunity for more knowledge sharing and networking amongst participants.

“Women are worthy of celebrating everyday as they continue to be the bedrock of every nation. They need to be equipped with sustainable skills to support their facilities,” she concluded.

Musukuta Badjie, Action Aid Project Manager of Agro-Ecology and Resilience, said the chosen theme by the GTU status of women’s committee, ‘Step it Up for Gender Equality’ is suitable as it is in line with the global theme ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030: step it up for gender equality’.

She calls for more inclusion of women in development processes and structures. She also stresses the need for women to step up the fight against any barriers to their empowerment and opportunity to build women’s resilience against all odds. She highlighted some negative challenges impacted on the lives and livelihoods of the poor and marginalized especially on women and girls. The theme of the occasion, she added, is a challenge for them to join the global strides in building momentums that will facilitate the achievements of the sustainable development goals. To conclude, the Action Aid official called on all to reflect on progress made and call for change and commitment for a better world.