Statement on International Women’s Day

Achieving gender equality and realizing the human rights, dignity and capabilities of diverse groups of women is a central requirement of a just and sustainable world. Over the years, FLAG has dedicated its resources to ensuring the protection of the rights of women and children in The Gambia. FLAG also recognizes the efforts of the Government of The Gambia in ratifying, domesticating, and enacting laws for the protection and wellbeing of the rights of women and children. We congratulate the Government on being the first in the world to submit a plan compatible with the Paris Agreement to mitigate the effects of climate change by 2030.

Women and children form part of the groups most vulnerable to the socioeconomic effects of climate change. Women living in rural and “underserved communities are least able to prepare for, and recover from, heat waves, poor air quality, flooding, and other impacts”. Although the Government is taking positive strides to alleviate the effects of climate change, it is pertinent that women are represented at the institutions where decisions regarding such matters are made. Their opinions and concerns should be adequately factored in the processes.

In this vein, FLAG calls on the Government to appoint more women in leadership positions in its MDAs working on the environment and climate change, and to educate women in rural communities on methods of mitigating the effects of climate change.

FLAG is also aware that the changes we seek can only be attained through the equal participation and representation of all members of our society. Therefore, we remind the National Assembly members of the urgency to pass the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2021 to increase women representation in the National Assembly. This will serve as a step towards attaining equality in the Legislature, and eliminating bias, stereotypes, and discrimination against women.

The Government of The Gambia is reminded of its duty to ensure effective implementation of legislations protecting women and girls, and of the need to take a clear stance on violence against women, sexual offences, and FGM. A laidback response to these issues only serves to
impede attaining gender equality in The Gambia. The Government should be concerned by the limited public trust in its ability to protect women and children from violence.

Finally, we extend our gratitude to the women and girls in The Gambia and around the world
who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response. We thank
you for your service. Happy Women’s Day!

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