Women and Youth Peace Mission Calls for More Gender Sensitivity in Governance
The Executive Director of the African Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, Mrs. Hannah Foster recently led a delegation of women and youths from 11 countries including The Gambia on a courtesy call on His Excellency President Adama Barrow at statehouse. The delegation was on a Peace mission in solidarity with the people of The Gambia. Mrs. Foster advocated for the implementation of the quota system, build the capacity of women in decision making to defend their rights as well as learn lessons from the past experiences.
President Barrow expressed delight to receive the delegation as a women solidarity group. He informed them that Gambians benefited from ECOWAS and noted that without its solid stand it would have been difficult to maintain the peace. President Barrow emphasized his government’s commitment to the change as evidenced in the presence of leaders committed to the rule oflaw. He asserted that his government stands firm to respect the principle of democracy. He said “Even though gender issues are sensitive, but as far as I remain leader of the Coalition government I will continue to remain committed to the gender concerns. We are here for reform and gender will be part of that. There cannot be peace without justice.” The Gambianleaderfurther asserted that when the playing field is leveled, it creates opportunity for all. This he said contributed to the increased in the number of candidates for the National Assembly electionsand that was why 238 contested for 53 seats.
He further asserted that the female representation in his government signifiesthe commitment to fight for gender justice and declared that with commitment,The Gambia can achieve results byputting structures in place. The President finally congratulated them for the commitment to democracy.
Speaking on behalf of the Working Group on Women, Youth and Peace Building in West Africa Ms. Ruth Caesars also a representative of the Manu River Union congratulated President Barrow for the peaceful transition period and his commitment to strengthen the women of The Gambia.The peace mission was also to express solidarity with Gambian women as well as strengthen their network.
The following countries were represented: Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Liberia, Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Chad, Benin, Burkina, Togo and the host country The Gambia. The West Africa Group was funded by United Nations Organization of West African States - UNOWAS through ECOWAS