Saturday, October 2, 2010

“PRSP II and Vision 2020 are Not Mare Rhetoric” – Renner

TANGO Boss Sees Little Hope to Realise Change and Development in Africa
Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) The Speaker of the National Assembly in Banjul, Elizabeth Renner has said that the poverty reduction strategic plan (PRSP II) and Vision 2020 are not mare rhetoric or political statements of intent.

“They are since being translated into tangible policy programmes, strategies and projects that have impacted or continue to positively impact on the plight of women and children in particular,” she told non-governmental organisation at the launching of the Gender Action Team (GAT) and Raising Her Voice Project on Thursday.

GAT is a coalition of organisations and individuals involved in the promotion of human rights of women and gender equality in The Gambia, while RHV, which is initiated by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, aimed at popularizing the African Union Protocol on the rights of women. It also aimed at enabling women in less privileged communities to be aware of their rights and empower themselves.

According to her, the goals and ideals of GAT are in line with policy programmes and strategies of The Gambia Government, which as she puts it, ‘are well documented in our National Development Blue Print PRSP II and The Gambia Incorporated Vision 2020.

She advised GAT and RHV to put aside their differences, forget about the “I” and see themselves as one body.

“The piano has different keys but we can only get good music when we get the keys to blend in a desirable manner,” she told stakeholders.

On his part, the Director of The Association of Non-governmental Organisations (TANGO) said that if African governments move at the same pace as they did in the last 15 years; there is little hope that the change and development we all desired to see in Africa will be realised.

“It is therefore imperative that the pace of progress be accelerated, arguing that the call for moving the agenda from commitment to action has never been so pertinent. It is the only option and the right choice,” he said.

There is need to maintain a forward momentum at national and regional level and to keep a sharp focus on the 12 priority areas specified in the Beijing Platform for Action.

State Counsel, Mrs. Amie Jobe harps on the Universal declaration of Human Rights, which Gambia has signed and ratified, echoes the sentiments of the United Nations Charter in promoting and protecting gender equality and freedom from discrimination.

She admitted that the principle of promoting gender equality is also enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the African Union and encompassed in the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

She noted that if women are supported and empowered, all fabrics of society benefit. However, she said that it is disheartening to note that the vast majority of the world’s poor are women; two third of the world’s illiterates are females, of the millions of school age children not in school; and HIV/AIDS is rapidly becoming a woman’s disease.

State Counsel Jobe assured GAT and RHV of government’s support in the promotion of human rights of women and equality in The Gambia. VOL:2 ISSN:31

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