Friday, March 21, 2014

‘We Want Fair Representation in Parliament’ Says Ex-Lawmaker


 The Gambia has though made some notable improvements in promoting gender equity in recent times, nonetheless, the reality remains that majority of Gambian women continue to play a subservient role in voting for and not standing up to be voted for.

“There is a significant number of women holding key leadership positions; but there is a need for participation in decision making to change the discriminatory practices that continue to marginalize women and increase their poverty and subordination” Nyimasata Sanneh Bojang the first women who was elected into the parliament during the first republic.
Despite locals laws that call for women participation in politics in the society, women are still under represented in the political field as only few individuals are benefitting.
“There is a significant number of women holding key leadership positions; but there is a need for participation in decision making to change the discriminatory practices that continue to marginalize women and increase their poverty and subordination” Nyimasata Sanneh Bojang the first women who was elected into the parliament during the first republic.
Despite locals laws that call for women participation in politics in the society, women are still under represented in the political field as only few individuals are benefitting.
“There is need for us to take charge of our destiny,’ she said stressing the low participation of women in the parliament. “We want a fair representation in parliament and not two or three” she said
She was speaking at a workshop organised by GAMCOTRAP  at  Nematoulie Lodge in Brikama West Coast region 17 March 2014 . The workshop brought together women leaders from different political parties, political partners, youth and the media.
The project, ‘Promoting Effective Participation of Women in Governance and Leadership Positions’ seeks to enhance awareness and consciousness about the need for women’s participation in governance and decision making processes in the Greater Banjul Area.
Organized by GAMCOTRAP, It also aims to engage the media to build public confidence in the election of women in political positions. It is funded by National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Nyimasata Sanneh Bojang
The gender inequality in the society according to Nyimasata Sanneh-Bojang limits the participation of women in politics, which poses a threat in the socio-economy development of the country. “Women don’t have that confident to participate because of perceived roles of women continue to be marginalize in the political sphere.”
Political Hypocrisy
“This is not party affairs but to empower women on their political rights to be voted in key positions,” said Dr Isatou Touray, Executive director of GAMCOTRAP.
“Women participation in the political sphere will shape the lives of women, the struggle to ensure the equality and equal opportunity for women. We cannot have change if we don’t have effective women in parliament.” She said
Out of the 54 parliamentarian in the National Assembly only 4 are women and this according to Dr Touray will only make little impact on the lives of Gambian women. “Numbers matters,” she said. ‘Saying that we have many women in government positions is not enough but also making decision of their own for the benefits of all women.”
She noted, “Awareness on the importance of women’s participation in the democratic process to promote the participation of women in governance and leadership can break the chain of male dominance in participating in the administrative life of our country and not reducing to mere political propaganda tools.”
In 2008 she said, Open Society Initiative in West Africa (OSIWA) supported GAMCOTRAP to create awareness on women’s political participation and leadership from a gender perspective.
“The outcome of the sensitization activities resulted to participation of more women in their various political parties.It created a very good momentum throughout the country, where women were motivated to compete at the Local Government Level and 15 out of 20 aspirants won the elective positions” Dr Touray said

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ghana ALERT: Radio station attacked for defying censorship orders


Angry youth numbering about 30 on February 17, 2014, stormed the premises of Gift FM a privately owned radio station at Dormaa Ahenkro - a town in the Brong Ahafo region.

The action of the youth followed a news item aired on an alleged banishment of one Fred Yeboah, by the Dormaa traditional council.

Kwabena Boahene, station manager of Gift FM told the MFWA, the chief of Dormaa, Osagyefo Oseadeyo Nana Agyeman Badu (II) at a gathering on February 17, announced the banishment of Yeboah who is the general manager of the Presbyterian Hospital in the town. The chief then cautioned media men present at the gathering not to carry any news item on the banishment.

Reasons for the action of the chief were not disclosed and remain unknown.

“Because we defied the chief’s orders, the youth attacked us and caused extensive damage to our property and even wanted to set fire to the station with a gallon of petrol they came along with.”, Boahene said.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Gambians Rise for Justice


Amie Bojan-Sissoho leading the procession 
 One Billion Rising For Justice, an event being held around world turned out a moment filled with emotions and joy under the unnoticed hot and typical African burning sun in The Gambia, demanding justice in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation and domestic violence.
Done in a style, The Gambia commemorated the event with  a procession and symposium at TANGO offices where hundreds of people women, men, youth groups, institutions and school children rose up to dance, singing very emotional songs.

One Billion Rising for Justice is a global call to women survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely outside places where they are entitled to justice. Places like courthouses, police stations, government offices, school administration buildings, work places, sites of environmental injustice, military courts, embassies, places of worship, homes, or simply public gathering places.

In The Gambia, GAMCOTRAP, a woman’s right NGO, who have over the years been very active and effective in the promotion of women and children’s rights lead the activity. The organisation is well known for its stance against harmful cultural practices particularly those that relates to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and other discriminatory early practices. They joined the global energy to strike, dance and rise against Violence against women calling for an end to FGM, marriage and other gender discriminatory practices affecting women and men.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

One Billion Rising for Justice: An Invitation to Break Pain

Dr Touray flanked on the Left  by Amie Bojang

 14 February globally, is valentine day; a day when lovers renew their love, commitment but this year women and men in The Gambia will rise together in the largest day of mass action ever to rise for justice.

Children, youth, women and men from all walks of life including people with disabilities, are joining the global determination to end the multiple violence’s, a globally coordinated campaign aimed to call to an end of violence against women and girls, according to GAMCOTRAP, a leading women’s rights organization in country.

Thousands of One Billion Rising for Justice Events will take place throughout the world. These events are organized and produced by local activists. It’s the day of synchronized action when one billion people in 207 countries will rise for justice.

BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE is a global call to women survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely in community outside places where they are entitled to justice – courthouses, police stations, government offices, school administration buildings, work places, sites of environmental injustice, military courts, embassies, places of worship, homes, or simply public gathering places where women deserve to feel safe but too often do not. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

President Jammeh unbans Standard Newspaper and Teranga FM



 

Proprietor, Taranga Fm
After one year when Gambian security services arbitrarily shut down the Gambian community radio station, Taranga FM and The Standard Newspaper, president jammeh has announced the lifting of ban with immediate effects.

 Aired on the state broadcaster, GRTS, on New Year’s Eve, president Jammeh lifted the ban ‘for his good will gesture for the new year’ 2014.
Both Taranga FM and the Standard have were shut at a time when the Gambia is seeing increasing violations of the right to freedom of expression.
The arbitrary closure according to journalist is an undue interference in freedom of expression by the state and will deprive the Gambian public of their right to access information, especially in local languages.

Taranga FM was shutdown on the night of 14-15 August and The Standard, together with The Daily News received orders on Friday to immediately cease operations in September 2012.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Teachers Resolved to Join in the Fight against FGM

Dr. Isatou Touray


After concluding a day training on Monday, teachers has resolved to join, GAMCOTRAP, a women’s rights advocacy group to educated children on the effects of FGM.
The event brought together 25 from various schools in the West Coast Region. The project, from a health-based to a right-based approach fighting against Female Genital Mutilation seeks to introduced module on FGM and child’s rights for grade 4-9 basic and secondary education sector hopefully next year . It is funded by Save the Children International.
The modules on FGM are meant to contribute to efforts by the education sector to promote gender equality and development as part of overall policy to promote girls’ education.
Gamcotrap, have over the years been very active and effective in the promotion of women and children’s rights. Gamcotrap's agenda is to end discriminatory practices like FGM and early marriage and ha trained hundreds of teachers over the years.
 Prior to the training, majority of the teachers admitted that they are not aware that the Gambia is a signatory to the Maputo protocol, convention of the right of the child and the CEDAW.
Gamcotrap has signed a MOU with Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, (MoBSE) in 2007 and renewed it in 2009.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Newspaper employee detained for 'insulting' President Jammeh




Mass Kah, a messenger at the privately-owned Foroyaa newspaper was on November 14, 2013, arrested by police over allegations of denigrating and insulting Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh.
 
The MFWA’s sources in the country reported Kah was having a discussion with a friend infront of his home in Serekunda when two supporters of President Jammeh confronted him about his comments and reported him to the police.
 
In the said discussion, Kah reportedly said Halifa Sallah, who is the leader of the opposition People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism, was “the only man who wears trousers in The Gambia".  According to MFWA’s sources the statement was understood as meaning Sallah was more capable of leading the country than President Jammeh. 
 
He was arrested and detained without any charge at Serekunda police station where he was subjected to fierce interrogations and insults by police officers before being transferred to Kotu police station, about 13 kilometers southwest of the capital, Banjul.