National Action Plan: Gambia

Flag of GambiaOn June 2, 2014, following the Women Advancement Forum in Banjul, The Gambia launched its first National Action Plan. The development of the National action Plan involved reviewing of existing literature on UNSCR 1325, The Gambia’s National Gender and Women's Empowerment Policy 2010-2020, other laws, conventions, bills and policies that affect the rights of women and girls internationally and nationally. The Gambia National Action Plan focuses on the three main pillars as outlined by the UNSCR. These pillars are participation, prevention and Protection or the so-called 3Ps. However, the issue of promotion concerning the overall popularization of the action plan is embedded within the 3Ps. The requisite articles of UNSCR 1325 have been delineated under each pillar for which strategic issues, key focused areas, outcomes, and performance indicators were developed to enable GOTG to implement to attain the goals on Gender Mainstreaming and greater participation of women in building a sustainable peace for the general populace, particularly women and girls.  

Gambia does not have a record of a major conflict, yet it is situated in a region that has witnessed conflicts and thus, many women refugees from neighbouring countries with conflict flee to Gambia. Nonetheless, Gambian women occupy a low status in society and experience widespread discriminatory practices largely due to the incorporation of rigid interpretations of Sharia and customary law in Gambia's legal codes. The majority of Gambian women face gender-based violence, including female genital mutilation, yet do not receive adequate legal protection. Over the years, the government of The Gambia has vowed to improve the status of women, such as gender mainstreaming, addressing gender based violence and human rights for women, among many.

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REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA NAP

The Gambia: Gender and Women Empowerment Policy 2010-2020

WILPF

WILPF International does not have a country section in Gambia and therefore was not involved in the development process of Gambia's NAP.

Civil Society Actors

NAP Development

There is no clear language in the NAP text stating whether or not civil society has been involved in the NAP development. 

NAP Implementation

Civil Society is tasked with partial ownership of certain objectives and activities without specifying which organizations are responsible for what. The GOTG has created a conducive atmosphere within which CSOs working on women, peace and security have effectively operated by putting in place the necessary legislations. These organizations include a local Office of WANEP for advocacy and monitoring with a view to reducing the proliferation of Small Arms in West Africa. Organizations such as the Female Lawyers Association of The Gambia and GAMCOTRAP offer legal counseling and other services to women on a variety of matters relating to their statutory rights, gender violence, family maintenance and child custody.

For instance, under Pillar 1 Participation, Strategic Issue 1. "Developing national programmes that promote peace and women’s rights", CSOs are tasked with the ownership of "sensitising decisionmakers and opinion leaders and stakeholders to appreciate women’s rights generally and gender-equality" together with the Ministry of Women's Affairs and Women's Beaurou. 

NAP Monitoring and Evaluation

Civil Society is said to be part of a national steering committee or an observatory through which coordination, partnerships, and strategic linkages will not only be further cemented for all stakeholders including civil society organization, private sector, UN Agencies and donors, but also reporting guidelines will be developed and mechanisms adopted to evaluate and measure the results and impact of the action plan.

Government Actors

NAP Development

This National Action Plan was developed in different phases. The first phase consisted of consultations and discussions, which were carried out with major stakeholders both at policy level and operational levels. The action plan was then validated at a meeting attended by government institutions and civil society organizations dealing directly or indirectly with women, peace and security issues.

NAP Implementation

The implementation of the NAP is the responsibility of all the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of the GOTG. However, the primary driver of the action rests with the OVP/MOWA and its implementation arm, the Women’s Bureau.

NAP Monitoring and Evaluation

The NAP states that a national steering committee or an observatory will be created through which coordination, partnerships, and strategic linkages will be further cemented for all stakeholders including civil society organization, private sector, UN Agencies and donors.

 

Objectives

The main goals of The Gambia NAP are:

  1. To ensure greater respect for women’s right to participation in the decision-making processes on equal footing with men.
  2. To eliminate discrimination against women and to end SGBV perpetrated against women.
  3. To involve women in the security sector, conflict resolution mechanisms and peace processes, including peacekeeping operations.
Action/Activities

Each pillar has its strategic issues, and each strategic issue has different actions or key focus area. For instance, regarding Pillar 1 “Prevention”, the first strategic issue refers to “Developing national programmes that promote peace and women’s rights” and it sets different actions in order to achieve that:

  1. Carry out a national consultation on women , peace and security;
  2. Develop gender based policy on peace and women’s rights;
  3. Review, revise, and harmonise all gender blind laws, policies, and systems to make them conform to CEDAW and other relevant international and regional, human rights treaties;
  4. Sensitise decision makers and opinion leaders and stakeholders to appreciate women’s rights generally and gender-equality;
  5. Develop gender-based peace programmes and identify and train gender partners for peace at the national level;
  6. Establish focal points on women peace and security at Ministries, departments, agencies, LGAs, PEs & Security and Law Enforcement Agencies.
Timeframe

There is no mention on the implementation period for the Gambia National Action Plan.

 

Budget

The Gambia National Action Plan includes an allocated budget for each strategic issue in the key area focus for each pillar. However, there is no mention on actions that formulate fundraising strategies, or what accountability mechanisms will ensure funding is raised and used in implementing the NAP.

 

Indicators

Each pillar has a key area focus within its strategic issue. Each strategic issue has both the output and the indicator. For instance, in Pillar 3 “Participation”, Strategic issue 1 “1. Adopting affirmative measures that will ensure equitable representation and participation of women at all decision-making levels” has the following key focus area, “1.1. Develop a national framework (laws, policies etc.) that will increase the number of women appointed to all decisionmaking levels”, which indicator is the number of mechanisms created.

 

Monitoring & Evaluation

The implementation of the GNAP is the responsibility of all the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of the GOTG. However, the primary driver of the action rests with the OVP/MOWA and its implementation arm, Women’s Bureau. It is envisaged that a national steering committee or an observatory will be created through which coordination, partnerships, and strategic linkages will not only be further cemented for all stakeholders including civil society organization, private sector, UN Agencies and donors, but also reporting guidelines will be developed and mechanisms adopted to evaluate and measure the results and impact of the action plan.

 

Disarmament

The GNAP references implementing all measures related to women, peace, and security which includes the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons and Their Ammunition and Other Related Materials.  They also briefly address the need to support civil society to stop the proliferation of small arms in Africa but do not note any specific actions to be taken.