Vox Pop on the International Women’s Day Celebration

Sunday, March 16, 2008

As part of the activities marking the international women’s day celebration, Gamcotrap joined the rest of the world in the commemoration together with the official launch of its web site at the Paradise Suites Hotel last Saturday. The theme for this year’s celebration was “The struggle for Gender Equality continues…”

It is a very important day that should not only be observed by Gender activists or institutions that deals with women’s and girls issues only but the whole globe. It’s not an issue that concerns only one sex but it’s for both as far as humanity is concerned. Hence with these two sexes one cannot go in the absence of the other because they are partners. So, I don’t think there can be any thing said like it’s a women issue so men should not participate, no! That should not be the case because neither of the sexes is born in the absence of the other, so this is a clear manifestation that we should stand for each other and fight for rights and the betterment of each other. In many African countries women are seen as only mothers who bear children and take care of them, some are being marginalised, discriminated against, denied inheritance, land owner ships, decision making and even denied education which we all know is a right for them. All these things are done to them just in the name of tradition, which we may not have known but can even affect our religion as worshipers. Why should such things happen to them? Are women not human beings? Are they not partners to the male counter parts?

Are they not mothers, sisters and wives to men? If this is so I don’t think there should be any query when the Women’s right issue is raised because women’s right are human rights as no nation can have a real human right without women being given their rights. This week I bring you some people’s opinions about the theme for this year read below:

Mam Sira Jobe Kurang registrar Gambia Training and Multimedia Institute/executive member Gamcotrap: I am very much impressed with the day. I have the feeling that we are going forward. Gamcotrap has gone through a big struggle to reach where we are today. I am sure a day will come that we will be recognised not only by The Gambia but the whole world. I am happy that the web site is launched and that will show the people outside The Gambia what Gamcotrap is achieving and will create a lot of awareness. Gamcotrap normally say things directly. These things sometimes are taboos which will break for our children so that they will not fall the wrong trap. Finally I would like to advise every parent to accept the banning Female Genital Mutilation, because its dangerous.

Mrs. Tida Jaiteh teacher Bakau Upper Basic School: I would call the day excellent. This is a struggle that we have been advocating for the few past years as far as girl children are concerned. All these practices we discussed are not a new thing so we keep on advocating and making sure we eradicate FGM completely in our society. We should sensitise the children as they are the future leaders if not there cannot be a brighter future for women tomorrow, the ice have to be break.

Sheihk Omar Fye co ordinator and head of Gender and Development Unit MDI: My main opinion is the theme. Its timely by looking at the reality on the ground. We have the presence of a gender gap that prevails in our communities. When it comes to the time of decision making it balanced in terms of men and women in top management positions. This has lead to more male dominants, so the theme to my own opinion is geared towards closing the gender gap. I would also like to hail the efforts of the government of The Gambia and all stake holders for the drive towards gender parity. I would also want to emphasize that there is need for gender equity in order to avail both male and female equal opportunities in a bid to bring about effective national development.

Yadicon Eribo Njie coordinator Fawegam: It indeed continues. Though women today are lucky enough to see the progress of the work done by the women that were here before us, we the younger women have found the road paved by the struggle of the older women. We should not relax because there is a lot of work still to be done. Today we still see women being discriminated against, just because they are women, no matter what your background is you should come together support each other and make sure that every woman realizes her highest potential.

Absatou Saidykhan Fawegam: In The Gambia we cannot have gender equality as of now, because it was not there now. What we are asking is a fair share of whatever job opportunities, scholarships and a lot more that we have been lacking. These are issues like family inheritance, loans from bank and ownership. If your husband has land you are not given land at Social Security Housing and Finance Corporation. We are not on the same level, until all that is available we can’t talk about gender equality but then the struggle will continue.

Source: The Point