By Ndey Sowe
The National Assembly Member (NAM) for Banjul South, Fatoumatta Touma Njie, has pledged her commitment to work to ensure that women take up leadership roles in The Gambia.
Madam Njie said she will pave the way to make it easy for women to take up leadership roles in The Gambia. She said this statement on Friday, 12th March, 2021 during a town hall meeting between women NAMs and young people marking International Women’s Day Celebration, held at TANGO Conference Hall.
International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8 as designated by the United Nations.
The meeting, organized by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) Gambia chapter, was aimed at highlighting the inherent challenges in the socio-political environment in The Gambia and lays the basis for more awareness creation and advocacy efforts for meaningful legal and institutional as well as sociocultural changes in society.
Speaking further, Touma encouraged all women to have the same commitment, while saying it is unfortunate to see women calling themselves advocates, but never stand up when other women need them. She promised to stand her ground to take what is rightful hers, but lamented it is unfortunate to see women not reaching out to show that they can. This, she said, will scare young women into becoming politicians.
“We should stand up together to pave the way and move all the thoughts along the way to ensure girls are not scared. I will stand my ground to ensure young girls are given the opportunity to lead one day in this country,” she said.
She said as COVID-19 spreads, it is expected to have a disproportionate and devastating impact, especially among vulnerable women.
“There can never be successful progress in development when half of the population is left behind and that half is women. Women also form the majority of care givers at home and in our communities and are more at risk of getting infected by COVID-19. For these reasons,” she said.
Madi Jobarteh, Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) Country Representative, said lack of participation, low representation and employment of women prompted the WFD to host a town hall meeting between women NAMs and young people.
“The meeting is an occasion where elected women NAMs and councilors will share their experience in their efforts to seek election into public office. It is a dialogue between these women and the audience, especially the students, to get to understand the issues of inclusion, equality, participation and representation of women in politics and decision-making structures,” he said.