Friday, March 18, 2011

NYC Raises Concerns Over Women Empowerment

The National Youth Council (NYC) on Monday 14th March, 2011 in Farrefenni Town, in the North Bank Region, joins other commonwealth countries in the world to celebrate the commonwealth day. The commonwealth day is set aside by 50 countries that were one time colonized by the British. Those countries formed the Commonwealth of Nations to commemorate the day and to co-operate and consult with each other on pertinent issues which concerns them. The day of the celebrations, the council calls for the address of the urgent need for women empowerment in the country. Commonwealth day, is celebrated on the second Monday of March every year to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of the commonwealth organization to improve the lives of its citizens. " Women as agents of change", was the theme the NYC selected for the celebrations. According to the NYC officials, the theme means that by investing in women and girls, they can accelerate social, economic and political progress, as women and girls make up over half of the world’s population. The Minister of Youth and Sport, Honorable Sherrif ML Gomez, in his statement at the ocasssion, described the day as a great occasion and a food for thought, saying youth people must exercise some fundamental questions as to what they have achieved and contributed towards the development of their country. According to him, in The Gambia, people should be quiet happy and thankful since they have a dynamic leader president Jammeh whose primary concern and commitment is the youth, the girl child as well as women. Youth and Sport Minister Gomez added that since 1994 to date, President Jammeh has been investing heavily on the development and empowerment of women citing top positions held by women in Jammeh's government. Gomez continued that President Jammeh is pragmatic to continue to invest on the enabling environment for the journey in realizing their (women) dreams and goals, pointing out that he is also ensuring that the issue of ignorant is eradicated as he involved on the proliferation of tertiary institution. He says: “The theme could not be achieved without women being educated." Youth and Sport Minister challenged the youths to desist from venturing in the back way to Europe or marrying tourists in order get away from The Gambia. He continued: “we are a nation in hurry and needs to quicken our pace to reach our goal which is the vision 2020 as it is just 10 years to come, while finally urging the youths to be agents of change. The chairman of NBR youth committee, Mod M. Ceesay harped on the triple role of women in the society which is reproductive role, productive as well as community work. He noted that it is no coincidence for the theme due to it timeliness and fitting considering the fact that women contributes immensely to the development of the Gambia. Deputing for the NBR Governor, the chief of Illiasa Village, Ebrima Ansu Tamba Jammeh spoke at length on the importance of the commonwealth celebration, noting that by educating women and girls , giving them health care, making sure they are treated fairly and have the same opportunities and protection as men and boys, the world could go a long way towards addressing the many problems. “Women and girls need to be included at all levels of decision making to ensure that their needs are properly met,” he added. The executive secretary of the NYC, Mr Marcel Mendy who chaired the occasion commended all the participants for making the celebration a success, while urging young people to be the agents of change.

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