Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gambian Women I Salute You!

As the world, The Gambia included, commemorated International Women’s Day (IWD) on Thursday March 8, I salute and honor all Gambian women for doing their part in different quarters for the advancement of the country.

Women’s rights activists who work round the clock to defend and promote the rights of women, and to protect them from the very many forms of violations of their rights; and discrimination, I say a big kudos to you.
Rural women who work on the farm all day to put bread on the table amid the steady skyrocketing of food prices in the country, you are excellent and I salute you for your commitment and dedication towards insuring the wellbeing of your families.
Women who spend the whole day at various markets to make sure that they meet the needs of their families, I say a job well done.
Men with increasing interest and contribution towards women’s advancement in our society, I say thank you all.
Women who refused to bow to politics of patronage and end up being used as stooges, and refused to deceive their fellow women, I say keep it up.

2012 sees 101 years of International Women’s Day. Having been celebrated around the world, widespread increased activity had been anticipated globally on 8 March 2011.
First declared in 1910, the first International Women’s Day event was held in 1911, offering the world the opportunity to reflect on the status of women, highlight their contributions, achievements as well as their challenges in terms of promotion of gender equality and empowerment at all levels, among others.
As a woman, I feel delighted because International Women’s Day makes voices of women to be heard. The day is worth celebrating because it is a day that women come together to celebrate their achievements politically, economically; past, present and the future. Women have been doing really well.
I cannot forget that women have improved themselves over the years. Women are going to universities, women work and still have and raise a family, and women are astronauts, engineers, prime ministers, politicians and even presidents.
On this special day, I wish to recognise the achievements of all Gambian women regardless of ethnic, linguist, economic or political status. It is an occasion to take a deep glance at past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, to look ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.
Women leaders have been addressing issues that are affecting rural women. And I can attest to that. More investment in improving the lives of rural women could create a springboard for better education, improved health and higher income.
The gap between men and women should be bridged by raising awareness on a day like this (IWD). And Gambian women should also look unto celebrating this day in a more progressive fashion, in a unified platform, in an outward appearance to stand for themselves and for men to join and help them too, because whatever we do is for the sake of men too and they cannot be left out in a day like this.
Thanks to government too, for the global event has grown from strength to strength and has become an event which brings women and other stakeholders together to promote and advocate for more cohesive and coordinated interventions towards effectively addressing the critical needs of women in the social, political and economic processes.
At this point, I would recommend that women and men continue to work as hard as partners to ensure that girls and women are accorded the rights and opportunities they deserve. Global problems are too big and too complex to be solved without the full participation of both women and men. Strengthening women’s rights is not only a continuing moral obligation--it is also a necessity as we face a global economic crisis.
And only by acting together can we create more equal and peaceful societies.Let us all, on each International Women’s Day, resolve to make a difference
Author: binta bah

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