3 June 2019

Gambia: SSR Launches Gender Responsive Caravan

The Security Sector Reform (SSR) has recently launched a nationwide Gender Responsive Caravan in order to sensitise security officers on gender base violence.

The launching ceremony was held at Yundum Barrack and it coincides with the arrival of the Peace Building Fund (PBF) to The Gambia.

It was graced by dignitaries from the UN bodies, international organisations, senior government officials and security officers.

Rohey Samba, communications strategist for SSR explained that for a successful Security Sector Reform, it is imperative to mainstream gender, adding that as part of the Security Sector Reform process, a three stage capacity building programme was designed by ONS, in collaboration with partners such as UNDP on Gender Responsive Security Sector Reform to address gender gaps. She added that it's also designed to ensure that the existing nature of the security sector structures, culture, legal and policy frameworks, which are largely insensitive to the diverse needs of service men and women are efficiently transformed.

She added that the participants of the Gender Responsive Security Sector Reform training felt it necessary to raise awareness on the importance of Gender mainstreaming in all aspects of the sector by conducting eight days nationwide caravan.

"Discrimination that happened in the security sector, one cannot reiterate about it, she said. "The reform will give rights to the security officers, most especially the women to be respected in terms of ranking and social behaviuor."

Fanta Bai Secka, the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health stated that the SSR will help tackle the challenges that service officers are facing.

"Women should be fully represented in all decision making in order for them to show their capabilities."

Bai Cham, representative from Action Aid, who spoke about Gender Base Violence with Regard to HIV, stated that people should be mindful of their own health.

He added that if one cannot stay without sexual intercourse, therefore the person should try and get married or uses condom to avoid transmission of diseases.

The caravan intended to promote gender equality and equity among security personnel in terms of recruitment, postings, promotions, access to opportunities and any other benefits.


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