The Gambia joined the rest of the world to celebrate International Women’s Day yesterday Sunday 8th March 2020 on the theme #Each4Equal. This theme couldn’t be better captioned as the time for gender equality has come, it is here and now.
In many parts of the world, and for as long as one can remember, women have been suppressed and downtrodden by men. Many societies are so patriarchal that women find it very difficult to break the ‘chains’ and rise to realize their true potentials.
This has been the bane of the world as history has clearly shown that unless a nation treats its women with respect and honour, it will not realize its developmental goals; or if it does, then it will be snail-slow. This is a fact that has been accepted the world over.
In the Gambia here, women form a good portion of the population and, thank God for that; for, they do not only add to the numbers, but have proven themselves, time and again, to be the carriers of the food basket of the nation.
Gambian women are in every part of the production sector of the economy. You find them in every department working tirelessly to ensure that the nation moves forward. You find them in the agricultural sector, where in fact, they form the dominant force that is providing the food that is here consumed.
Women are in the fishing sector; buying and selling and providing the nation with this very important consumable product. One sees them as early as four AM every morning with their fish baskets on their heads, all in an effort to ensure that there is food on the table.
But the most heartwarming aspect of the lives of Gambian women currently is that they have embraced education to the fullest. Gambian girls and women are doing extremely well in the area of education and are gaining expertise in every field of human knowledge. They are becoming experts in areas which were hitherto assumed to be exclusively for men.
The Gambian women have shown that they are equals, if not superior, to men when it comes to education and entrepreneurship. With this trend and Gambian women taking the bull by the horn, as it were, the country is poised to change its destiny in the not-too-distant future. The prospects are good and should be encouraged.
Happy International Women’s Day to all!