Monday, March 21, 2011

Women Speak Out Against Suffering

Scores of ordinary Gambian women have admitted that they have been naively enduring forms of human rights abuses, according to the executive Director of Women for Democracy and Development (WODD).
The women came to speak out about against their sufferings after undergoing training on national and international laws that guarantee their rights, thanks to WODD.
With funding from US Ambassadors’ Democracy and Human Rights Fund, WODD is now training both women and men to become trainers on women’s rights.
The fifth such training was held at the Girl Guides Hall in Kanifing attended by hundreds of women as a follow-up to four other workshops held in other regions of The Gambia.
“After listening to the lectures, the women gave feedbacks about their hardships and sufferings,” said Amie Sillah, WODD executive director.
She said she trained the participants on the Women’s Act 2010, the Maputo Protocol among other regional and international legal and policy instruments that protect women’s rights.
According to her, the women in all four regions gave their recommendations to the government, the donors, WODD and the communities as stakeholders.
“The government of the Gambia under the Women‘s Act has an obligation to fulfill its promise to the Gambian women which is to protect the social, economic, political and cultural rights so that Gambian women can enjoy dignity, liberty and prosperity,” she noted.
Madam Sillah noted that religion does not deny women their dignity and liberty to ensure that women develop, but it is the existence of certain traditions and cultures that negate the struggle of women in realizing their objectives.
WODD which empowers women with knowledge of Democracy, Women rights, Gender Equality and Equity, Good Governance, Social Justice, Social inclusion and all related issues has successfully conducted four regional workshops, the Executive Director said.
These include: Bansang, Upper Fulladu West; Jarumeh Koto, in Sami District; Jappineh in Jarra Central district and Kerr Omar Saine in Jokadu District.
Mr Zack Bailey and Janko Fofana of the US embassy underscored the importance of women empowerment in national development.
Mr. Bailey pointed out that the project is not assisting only WODD but also other women groups, including the Female Lawyer’s Association of the Gambia (FLAG) and GAMCOTRAP, among others.

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