The Republic of the Gambia launched it’s first and only WPS National Action Plan in 2012. The period of its coverage was open ended, and there is no indication of when an update will be available. However, in June 2019, the Gambian government presented a report to the UN on its implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action +25, in which it referred to the impact of its 2012 NAP, and referred to the priorities on which it will focus in its “second generation” NAP.
Objectives/Aims of the 2012 (no end date) NAP:
The Gambia NAP focuses on three main pillars which align with UN Resolution 1325; each pillar is supported by strategic issues to be developed in implementation.
Pillar 1: Prevention - Strategic Issues:
a) Developing national programmes that promote peace and women’s rights;
b) Promote and support research on gender, peace and security;
c) Strengthen women organizations and CSOs through capacity building on gender issues;
d) Provide technical and financial support to national women initiatives;
e) Adopt affirmative measures to involve more women in peace initiatives and indigenous conflict resolution processes;
f) Develop measures that ensures collaboration between all actors working on gender and peace initiatives;
g) Train more women as mediators and educators for peace ;
h) Promote the development of a preventive culture of peace;
i) Develop early warning mechanisms for conflict prevention;
j) Ratify, disseminate and fully implement all regional and international humanitarian and human rights instruments on women, peace, and security.
Pillar 2 : Protection - Strategic issues
a) Enhance the implementation of laws and policies that guarantee the rights of women;
b) Respond to all types of violence against women and girls, including sexual and gender based violence;
c) Protect the rights of women refugees and internally displaced women.
Pillar 3: Participation - Strategic issues
a) Adopt affirmative measures that will ensure equitable representation and participation of women at all decision-making levels;
b) Promote women participation in mediation and other conflict resolution processes;
c) Adopt measures aimed at strengthening women’s full participation in electoral processes;
d) Incorporate a gender perspective in all peacemaking and peace building efforts particularly in peace keeping operations;
e) Implement measures that would increase the number of women in the security sector
The 2012 NAP also includes a matrix setting out which government ministry/department is responsible for implementation, together with indicators and an approximate budget for each strategic issue.
In its report to the UN in June 2019, on its implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action +25, the Government of the Republic of the Gambia referred to a review of the 2012 NAP, and listed the following findings: “There are (p27)
∙ Proliferation of CSOs, NGOs, and professional groups operating in the area of women’s human rights and women’s empowerment – a growing women’s movement and the formation of the Gender Action Team (GAT) a coalition/platform of over 20 such organisations;
∙ Women in parliament remains at less than 10%;
∙ Raising of the voices of women and promoting women’s leadership and involvement in decision making, participation and representation seen marked increase;
∙ Formation of the Female Lawyers of the Gambia (Flag) providing much needed legal support to the movement.”
The same report (p27) went on to state:
“The second generation National Action Plan will focus on the following priorities:
∙ Sensitization on and popularization of women’s human rights and promotion of peace, including UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions targeting decision makers; various sectors; women and men at all levels; educational and academic institutions as well as opinion, religious and traditional leaders, and other stakeholders to appreciate gender equality and to know what provisions are available;
∙ Capacity strengthening of partner organisations on gender, women, peace and security to systematically build the foundation of the ripple down effect need to reach a broader constituency of the population and to enhance strategic partnerships;
∙ Strengthening the early warning mechanism to avoid internal conflict;
∙ Implement the recommendations of research directed at enhancing participation and representation of women;
∙ Exchange visits with neighbouring countries to enhance partnerships, learning and sharing on good practices.
Civil society engagement in development of the 2012 NAP:
There is a reference to civil society having attended a meeting to validate the 2012 NAP when it was at final draft stage, and in the implementation matrix there are several references to the role civil society could play, including their participation in a national steering committee to monitor progress of the NAP.
UN Peacekeeping Statistics:
At May 2023 Gambia contributed 63 UN peacekeeping personnel, of which 50 were male and 13 female. Of these women: 3 were experts on mission (male 1, total 4); 5 were senior police (34 male, total 39); and 5 were staff officers (15 male, total 20). Gambia did not contribute any troops or formed police units at this time.
Women’s role in peacekeeping:
Based on the above May 2023 figures, 20.6% of Gambia’s total peacekeeping personnel were female which is above the target figure of 15% across all mission ranks and personnel. It is pleasing to note women comprised the majority of mission experts and 25% of staff officers.
The Republic of the Gambia WPS NAP 2012: Untitled (wpsnaps.org)
The Republic of the Gambia, June 2019, (report by Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare’s Women’s Bureau and National Women Council), National Review Report on Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action+25, p26-28: Gambia.pdf (unwomen.org)
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