Report on ‘Women within GFD and DPOs Workshop’
26th – 29th June 2012, GOVI Hall, Kanifing
This report provides a summary of activities carried out during the ‘Women within GFD and DPOs workshop’. The main focus of the week was on advocacy, leadership, gender and empowerment, supported by a range of external speakers and group work.
v The aims of the workshop
· Deliver training in the fields of
· Better understand the Women’s Act and Government provision for women’s affairs
· For groups of women from different DPOs to plan a sexual and reproductive health training event in their local area together, using their new project management skills
· Provide the opportunity for participants to interact with key Gambian leaders and advocates – asking questions and learning from their experiences
· Provide a forum for female leaders in DPOs to share experiences and learning
DAY 1 Leadership and Empowerment
Prayers, Introductions, Ground Rules
Ndey Secka, Jankeh Barrow
What is leadership?
Halifa Sallah, The People’s Centre
Binta Siddibeh, Sobeya
2 – 3
3 – 4.30
Amie Sillah, Forayaa
Ground rules were agreed as
1. Speak one at a time
2. All mobiles on silent/off
3. Respect time
4. Respect each other’s views
5. No eating during sessions
6. ACTIVE PARTICIPATION
Leadership: The group prepared questions to ask the external speakers.
What do you expect from a leader?
What qualifications should a leader have?
What is your professional background?
What challenges have you overcome?
What advice do you have for us?
Madam Binta Siddibeh from Sobeya: Madam Siddibeh started by saying that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, developed in 1948, guarantees the equality of men and women.
Where does leadership start? “In the home”. She said that every woman plays a key
The group then discussed the key skills of good leadership
Skills of good leadership
· Stay strong
· Do the right things at the right time
· Down to earth
· Listen to both sides before acting – accommodate others’ ideas
· Good communication – be vocal
· Should be loyal
· Responsible and honest
· Have empathy
· Selfless – sharing and caring
· Know the needs and problems of your group
· Does not create competition, or break the group into small groups
DAY 2 Advocacy
Recap of Day 1
Isatou Sanyang, Ijatou Jallow
-what good advocacy is, using the media
-differences between advocacy and awareness raising
Exercises and group work
2 – 3
3 – 4.30
Amie Bojang - GAMCOTRAP
Matarr Baldeh - EFANET
The Recap of Day 1 was done in small groups which then fed back what they had learnt from Day 1.
· Democratic, strong, responsible
· Do best thing at the right time
· Share openly, share information
· No side talk, BUT should listen to both sides
· Not be biased
· Respect confidences
· Be loyal, punctual, humble
· Knowing your rights – be well informed (policies etc)
Advocacy – sensitization is creating awareness
Advocacy Steps – the group decided the necessary steps to carrying out advocacy
· Define the issue
· Research (gather evidence)
· Plan for action
· Action: How?
· Methods? Lobbying
Use of the media
· Who are your partners?
· Review - what did/didn’t work?
· Plan again
Then the participants broke into 2 groups to plan advocacy work on:
- Accessibility in banks
-accessibility in health centres
Issue: Accessible doors, ramps, interpreters, financial support to go to health centres
Research: Take photos, invite visitors from Government, report writing (including details of numbers)
· Letter writing
· Mass sensitization
· Alliances: Ministry of Health, WHO, UNICEF, NAS, ActionAid, UNHCR
Time: 6 months to see some change
Methods: Ministry of Health visit
Use dramas in the media
Issue: Accessibility of banks – ramps and interpreters
Research: How many banks are accessible? How many branches? How many have ramps?
How many PWDs have problems when they go to the bank?
Plans: Write letters requesting for meetings, find out who to approach in the banks. Who makes the decisions?
· Build good relationships with the bank staff – lobbying for change through face to face meetings
· Invite bank staff to disability activities – build awareness
· Can use the media positively to promote good practice in banks
IF there is NO change – take the story to the media
Participants then discussed the attitudes that they might encounter when doing their advocacy, and how it takes time for people to begin to support your ideas. We used the ‘7 stages of engagement’ model as a way of summarising our thoughts.
1. “I don’t know” – Ignorance
2. “I know” – Knowledge
3. “I want to help” – Motivation
4. “I am helping” – Skills/Resources
5. “It’s worth it” – Optimism
6. “It’s easy” – Confidence
7. “Success! What next?” - Reinforcement
Amie Bojang from GAMCOTRAP – asked the participants to name some of their challenges.
She highlighted inaccessibility to public buildings and transport; print media; sign language interpreters; sexual violence; lack of ability to identify money (vi); identifying a partner and getting married; limited orientation and mobility; lack of appropriate equipment and facilities.
Then she suggested that research on inaccessibility could include what types of buildings are already accessible; with that knowledge, you can get results, which then results in a consensus and a paradigm change.
She explained how GAMCOTRAP used a cluster approach within villages – working with the opinion leaders, women, fathers, imams etc to discuss the roots of FGM and then carrying out advocacy for changes in behaviour.
DAY 3 The Women’s Act and developing a gender policy for GFD
Recap of Day 2
Neneh Touray - Women’s Bureau
Thinking about gender within GFD
2 – 3
3 – 4.30
Yadicon Njie – FAWEGAM
Isatou Ndow – Gambia College
Recap Day 2
· Find the issue/problem identification
· Action – who? How? When? Media campaigns
7 Stages of Engagement
Know your mission and vision
Commitment brings about change
The group also discussed the issues of accessibility, circumcision and human rights that were all raised on Day 2 of the workshop.
Women’s Act – Neneh Touray from Women’s Bureau
Madam Touray’s presentation had 5 distinct sections
· Why the Women’s Act?
· How far they’ve gone with implementation
· What the challenges are
· The way forward and success stories
1999: Gambia had a National Policy on Women and Girls, but there were gaps
Gambia has signed the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, as well as the African Protocol on Human Rights, but this latter still needs to be domesticated.
Women’s Act also applies to the girl child. Discrimination which is based on sex is not based on just grounds.
It is everyone’s duty to ensure that women’s rights are respected and that all women have access to justice and protection. Women should have equal representation at all levels: law makers (Parliament) and law enforcers (judiciary and legal services). It is the Government’s responsibility to ensure implementation.
Employers also have a duty to protect women. This can be done by
· Giving women equal pay as men for the same jobs
· Providing crèches for childcare during the working day
· Allowing time off for breast-feeding
· Giving maternity leave for 6 months – this is the law, and women are entitled to full pay and no loss of employment during this time
· Making reasonable adjustments for women during pregnancy
Girl children are also protected in education. If they become pregnant, they should not be expelled from school. Consent in marriage is required from all girls and women. Women have the right to change their nationality, or have dual nationality if they would like. Widows have provision: rights to the custody of children, to inherit a share of the property and protection from inhuman or degrading treatment, as well as the right to re-marry.
At community level, it is known that women’s participation in peace and conflict resolution is good, and this should be encouraged. Women should also have special protection during armed conflicts, which can disproportionately affect women and girl children. Women also have rights to cultural participation, as well as environmental planning and management of their local area.
There is also provision for the protection of elderly women (over 60), women with disabilities and women in distress (pregnant, poor or in detention) who frequently face discrimination. The Department of Social Welfare has a Home for the Elderly (which volunteers can visit to help out)
Anyone found violating the Women’s Act can be taken to the High Court. Anyone can report a violation (a group, an individual, the Women’s Bureau or an organisation) and a violation can be reported on your behalf. The fine for violation of any of the provisions within the Women’s Act is a minimum of 50,000D and/or 6 months in prison.
How far has implementation of the Women’s Act gone?
· Maternity leave has been implemented, despite some organisations’ reluctance
· 37 districts have been trained
· Sensitization has also been carried out at FLAG and FAWEGAM
There are also 2 new Bills on the table with Government: sexual offences and gender based violence.
A discussion on sexual harassment of girls in schools and gender based violence within marriage/relationships took place.
Madam Touray drew the distinction between what were religious beliefs, what were cultural beliefs and what were malpractices.
· Women’s Act not known by many people
· Perpetrators are not brought to court
· Court cases take time, evidence is lost
· Lack of effective monitoring and evaluation
· There are no ways to protect mentally ill women from violence, at this stage
What are the ways forward?
· Establishing a M & E committee for compliance
· Legislation to back up the Women’s Act
· Forums for sharing best practices
· Creche facilities for mothers at work/flexible working hours to allow for childcare
· Gambia Teacher’s Union (GTU) – training in schools
· FLAG to train on gender based violence for GTU
· Employers to copy ActionAid’s maternity policy which gives additional benefits (paying for a nanny to go on trek, extending the 6 months if necessary, 1 hour flexible working per day to breastfeed).
Finally, after outlining the structure of women’s organisations in the Gambia, Madam Touray emphasized that no-one is above the law.
Women’s Affairs in the Gambia
Ministry of Women’s Affairs – The Vice President
National Women’s Council – Advisory Body
48 people are elected (1 per area) plus 5 nominated: Health, Education, Judiciary, Agriculture, Private/Civil Society Sector – they serve for 1 five year term
Chairperson = Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly
Women’s Bureau – Secretariat
Working on advocacy, policy and sensitization
Underneath these 3 bodies sit the civil society organisations that work on gender issues:
FLAG, GAMCOTRAP, PeaceCorps, FAWEGAM, ActionAid, NAWFA, TANGO, NAS, VSO, Family Planning, GAWFA, WISDOM, Women Against Gender Based Violence, SDF, BAFLO, GFD
Thinking about gender within GFD
· Equal rights for men and women
· Gender roles – use of time, gender responsibilities
· Differences between sexes
· Equal participation between men and women
· Equal representation between men and women = equal numbers
· Gender mainstreaming
· Gender and reproductive health
Gender in GFD
· Equal representation – women have to be present to have a voice
· Equal participation – in the meetings, you need to speak out
· Gender = men and women
· Constitution: there should be a minimum of 4 of one gender elected to the Board. This means that more women need to stand to be elected.
· Full participation needs to take place when individuals are elected
· Paternity leave? Should be in TOR for employees
· Projects and programming:
· men should be invited to women’s events
· women should be invited to men’s events
· responsibilities should be shared
· budgets for events and for projects should consider gender when being designed
DAY 4 Skills training and ways forward
Recap of Day 3
Jarrai, Kaddy, Mansata
Skills training session – report writing/proposal writing
Planning HIV/AIDS workshops in Kombos, Brikama, Basse
Evaluation, Vote of thanks
Fatoumata B, Ndey Secka
Lunch, prayers and closing
Recap – Day 3
Structure of Ministry of Women’s Affairs, National Women’s Council (Chair – Deputy Speaker) – 48 elected members and 5 nominated, as well as Women’s Bureau and the Women’s Act.
This particularly focuses on
· women with disabilities
· inheritance, treatment of widows
· maternity leave from work: crèche/ nanny
· continuing education when pregnant
· discrimination – education
Differences between the Law, Religion and Culture were also discussed.
Equality and equity.
Leadership begins at home.
Isatou Ndow as a role model. She discussed her personal experience, did not relax, used courage and determination to overcome obstacles.
Organisations such as FLAG, GAMCOTRAP, FAWEGAM and Women’s Bureau are willing to help others and get involved.
At the planning meeting, participants had requested a short training on report writing. As a group we went through all of the items that could be included in a report.
Workshop title: Leadership, empowerment and advocacy workshop for women with disabilities
Venue: GOVI Resource Centre Hall
Dates: 26th – 29th June 2012
Participants: How many people? Which organisations did they come from?
External speakers: What names? Which organisations? Which themes did they speak on?
Short summaries: Give main themes or topics. What did you learn?
Make a list or use bullet points – don’t give too much detail
Way forward: What are the next steps? What are your responsibilities now?
Finance section: You may need to include a budget if you are reporting to a donor. Say exactly what you spent, what money is left – and provide receipts to prove it.
Evaluation: What was good? What was not so good? What could be different next time?
And also….. include any photos, worksheets, handouts as evidence if you have them.
HIV/AIDS workshop planning
GOVI – 2
GAPD – 2
NUDY – 2
GNPC – 3
AMDG – 2
GOLD – 2
GADHOH – 2
GFD – 1
NASA – 2
St. John’s – 2
6 – GOVI
6 – GADHOH
6 – GAPD
1 – organiser
1 - ?
Deaf/hard of hearing
People with leprosy
People with visual impairments
v Evaluation of the workshop – participants’ comments on what they enjoyed
What I liked
· The presenters were so good and participants participating fully. The interaction was so good.
· I am so happy to have this workshop to learn more about the Women’s Act, and leadership from Halifa Sallah
· Amie Bojang – advocacy and interact with women from other DPOs
· Oh my God! This workshop is amazing and everything was organized so far I will love to rate this workshop as one of the best I have ever attended.
· Halifa Sallah. I like him because he talk about laws and about leadership. I also like Binta Siddibeh, she also talk about a lot for the benefit of physical disability. Fatou Faye was very wonderful. I liked both of the trainers – they did a lot. Thank you.
· Everyone has participated and we do the recap. The speakers were very good and everyone gain something from this workshop.
· This workshop was very successful; participants were interested to know what each topic is all about. The invitees were also kind enough to tell participants about issues which were not known to them, like the gender policy act and leadership. The food was very good.
· We also learnt how to write reports.
· I learn from Madam Isatou Ndow when she talks about leadership. She is my role model. This workshop teaches me a lot about the problems that the disabled are facing.
· All participants are interested in the training. The workshop was so nice: good venue, good food.
· The venue was good. The participants are participating fully. The invitees were all present.
· Organisation (togetherness), leadership skills, food and venue is accessible: I would like to see more of this kind!!
· I liked the advocacy, skills of leadership. Organisation, food and the workshop were good.
· What I liked about the work is that we had adequate food and also we learnt and discuss a lot of vital issue which were related to gender. But my best session on this workshop was the presentation on gender and skills of good leadership. I really will like to give a big round of applause to the organizers for organizing such an educative program and for also making sure that everything was organized.
· The workshop was very nice and I have learnt about leadership which I don’t have any idea before.
What I would do differently another time:
· I want to elaborate more about advocacy and leadership
· To do it before the rainy season. Breakfast first before starting the workshop. The participants to arrive on the agreed time.
· To do it before the raining season and also the food to come on time.
· To do it before the rain season and time factor. Also have more training on advocacy , gender policy and Women’s Act. To begin on time.
· Next time when it happen/have funds, we like 6 days
· As this workshop was base on empowering women; I would also want another workshop dealing with both woman and mens. This will help to show the problems the disable are facing because it is only woman who are facing this problem.
· I want elaboration more about gender equity
· I would love to see that more speakers will be invited to next year’s workshop
· More days, like 5 days. More external facilitators to address our concerns and to lobby for support
· I want the next workshop to be gender balance where both men and women will be invited
· To do it before the raining season. The food to come on time. To elaborate more on women leadership and Women’s Act.
· Timing of the food should be change. We should do the meeting before the raining season. We have learned more on leadership and advocacy for women.
· I will like more participants to attend the next workshop.
· Food bowls were preferred over packed lunches.
· It was preferable not to have a canned drink and put the money saved towards transport refund.
· Breakfast and the food bowls were good – she’s a good cook!