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The European Union and International IDEA, team up with the CSO Gender Platform to advance women’s rights

March 06, 2024 • By Musa Saho
Young people discussing the issue of women's empowerment. Photo Credit: UNFPA Gambia

In a bid to foster democracy and increase advocacy on human rights, International IDEA and the European Union have established a new partnership with the CSO-Gender Platform, which is part of support for the consolidation of democratic dispensation in The Gambia (EU-CODE Project). This partnership aims to contribute to holding the legislative and constitution-makers accountable and increasing women’s voices in the legislative and constitution-making process.

This partnership will organize later this year, a two national stakeholders conference and increase women’s participation in governance, advancing their rights, and addressing gender-based violence issues including female genital mutilation (FGM). This strategic initiative led by the CSO-Gender Platform, will be implemented in partnership with the National Assembly, the National Human Rights Commission, and the Gambia Press Union.

The activities of the new initiative will also entail providing advisory services and knowledge products to the CSO-Gender Platform and organising dedicated workshops.

His Excellency, Corrado Pampaloni, Ambassador of the EU to The Gambia stated: "The women’s act and a number of provisions of the Constitution have increased the protection of women’s rights in The Gambia but discriminations, like the underrepresentation in public offices, and violence against women persist. The current parliamentary debate around the repealing of the FGM ban reminds us all that no right is to be taken for granted and that their upholding and promotion requires constant mobilisation from the national actors. The EU stands on their side and this new initiative is a new concrete demonstration of this commitment."

Tabu Sarr, the Director of CSO-Gender Platform, emphasized “the importance of the partnership as it is crucial for their organisation to advance the consolidation of democracy in The Gambia through a gender-focused lens. This collaboration further aims to amplify women’s voices in advocacy efforts, addressing critical issues impacting women and girls, including the enhancement of women’s representation in decision-making processes, and governance structures, and the combatting of sexual and gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, and other forms of violence.”

The roles of CSO organisations revolve around safeguarding the well-being of women and girls. This new partnership reaffirms their commitment to lengthening their mission and actively contributing to the protection of women’s rights in The Gambia, a demographic constituting over 51 per cent of the population. Importantly, this collaboration ensures that the voices of women are prominently featured, alongside those of other organizations championing human rights, throughout the duration of this collaborative effort.

The CSO Gender Platform includes the following members: The Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (TANGO), ActionAid, Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWEFAM), The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDJRS), Future in Our Hands, Gambia Teachers Union (GPU), Gambia Press Union, Think Young Women, The Girls Agenda, Female Lawyers Association (FLAG), West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP).


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About the authors

Musa Saho
Communications Officer, The Gambia
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