Gender Equality in Gambia

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Gambia
flag_Gambia.png
Flag of Gambia
Population (in Mil.) 1.79
Gross Domestic Product (In USD Billions - WB) 0.91
Sex Ratio (m/f) 0.98
Life Expectancy Ratio (f/m) 1.052631579
Fertility Rate 4.23
Estimated Earned Income (f/m)
Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (f/m) 4.1
Women in Parliament (in %) 7.5
INDICES
Human Development Index 165/187
Social Institutions and Gender Index 76/86
Gender Inequality Index 165/186
Gender Equity Index 101/168
Women’s Economic Opportunity Index /128
Global Gender Gap Index /68
More information on variables

Social Institutions

Gambia was formerly a British colony, gaining independence in 1965.[1] The current president Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh seized power in a military coup in 1994, but was subsequently elected in presidential elections (most recently in 2006) once the country had returned to civilian rule.[2] The economy is largely dependent on agriculture, tourism, and migrant remittances.[3] Gambia is classed by the World Bank as a low-income country, and 61.3% of the population is estimated to live below the national poverty line.[4] Gender inequality is accepted as a given by many women and men in Gambian society.[5] Women occupy very low status in Gambian society, in part due to the incorporation of Sharia and customary law into the country’s legal codes, enshrining discriminatory practices in matters relating to marriage, bodily integrity, and inheritance and ownership rights. The failure of the government to criminalise female genital mutilation (FGM) or to openly condemn the practice is particularly worrying, as is the lack of laws addressing violence against women more generally. A so-called ‘Women’s bill’ that would remove many of the discriminatory clauses in current legislation, and cover domestic violence, has been under consideration since 2007.[6]

Under article 28 of the 1997 Constitution (amended in 2002), women in the Gambia are accorded equal rights with men.[7] Gambia ratified the Convention on All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1993, but has not ratified the Optional Protocol on violence against women.[8] The country has also ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.[9] A National Policy for the Advancement of Women was put in place in 1999, and the National Women’s Council advises the government on all matters pertaining to women’s rights.[10] In 2010, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs of Gambia developed the Gambia National Gender Policy 2010-2020 as an integral part of the national development objectives to enhance the overall government strategy of growth through poverty eradication.[11] Gambia’s Human Development Index rating is 0.420, placing it in 168th place out of a total of 187 countries.[12] The Gender Inequality Index score is 0.610 placing Gambia at 127 out of 146 countries.[13] Under the Global Gender Gap Index, the country’s score is 0.6763, placing it in 77th place (out of 135).[14]

Discriminatory Family Code

While women are accorded protection from gender-based discrimination under the Constitution, an exception is made for laws on adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law.[15] In regard to family law, four different legal systems are in operation and are recognised under article 7 of the 1997 Constitution – civil, customary, Christian and Sharia.[16] The majority of the population (over 90%) are Muslim, and hence, come under the jurisdiction of Sharia law. [17]

The 1997 Constitution states that all marriages shall be based on the free and full consent of the intended parties.[18] But under customary and Sharia law, according to the report to the CEDAW committee made by the government of Gambia in 2003, ‘it is not unusual for a woman to be forced into marriage’.[19] Child marriage and child betrothal are not prohibited by law, and some girls are married off as young as the age of 12 years.[20] Article 27 states that men and women ‘of full age and capacity’ have the right to marry, but does not define ‘full age’.[21] Multi-Indicator Cluster Survey (MICL) data from 2005-6 indicates that 35.9% of women aged 20-24 had been married as children[22]. In 2006, 25.1 % of girls between 15 and 19 years of age were married or in union.[23] By contrast, according to this data only 1.7% and of men aged 15-19 and 12.4% of men aged 20-25 had ever been married, indicating that girls were being married to men significantly older than them.[24] This has implications in terms of married girls’ power and decision-making capabilities within such marriages. Polygamy is permissible under Sharia and is practised among some ethnic groups.[25] Muslim men may take up to four wives. Wives whose husbands enter a second or subsequent marriage have the option to divorce, but they have no legal right to receive advance notice regarding the husband’s intentions to take another wife or to give their approval.[26] Under civil law, women and men have equal parental rights, with custody of children in the event of divorce being assigned to either parent according to the best interests of the child.[27] Under Sharia law, a man has the right to divorce his wife at will, but a woman does not have the same right.[28] There is no data available on attitudes towards divorced and widowed women, and women headed households. Women’s rights in regard to inheritance depend on the law applied. Sharia provides for detailed and complex calculations of inheritance shares, whereby women may inherit from their father, mother, husband or children and, under certain conditions, from other family members.[29] However, their shares are generally only half of that to which men are entitled.[30]Christian women and female children can receive properties under the wills of their husbands or fathers, but may also find themselves disadvantaged.[31] Their law of inheritance permits husbands, if they so choose, to will away all property and leave nothing for their wives and children.[32] Gambian law offers no protection to women in such cases.[33] Under customary law, wives are not entitled to the property of their husband unless – and until – they agree to let themselves be inherited by the husband’s family.[34] In effect, such women are treated as a form of property to be inherited along with the rest of their husbands’ assets. In some areas, however, women can inherit land from their mothers, and leave it in turn to their daughters.[35]

Restricted Physical Integrity

There is no specific law dealing with domestic violence, although this can be prosecuted under laws prohibiting rape, spousal rape, and assault, and is considered grounds for divorce under civil law.[36] There are no figures available as to rates of domestic violence (even where cases are reported), but it is believed to be quite common.[37] Police rarely investigate, as domestic violence is treated as a family matter.[38] There is no law against sexual harassment, but policies have been introduced to tackle sexual harassment in schools.[39] FGM is not prohibited under Gambian law.[40] In the 1990s, the government publicly supported campaigns run by NGOs to eradicate the practice, but more recently, women’s rights NGOs working to eradicate FGM have faced threats and intimidation, the government has prohibited the dissemination of anti-FGM messages in the state media, and the president’s spiritual advisor has spoken out in favour of the practice.[41] MICS data from 2005-6 indicates that 78.3% of women aged 15-49 had undergone FGM.[42] The same data reports that 64.3% of women who had undergone FGM had at least one daughter who had also undergone the procedure.[43] While this does indicate a decline, reflective of the efforts by women’s rights groups to raise awareness about the health risks associated with the practice, without the support of the president and the government, eradication of the practice remains a very distant prospect. Gambia is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficking in persons, primarily children who are trafficked into forced prostitution.[44] Contraceptive use appears to be low in Gambia, with only 17.5% of women reporting using any form of contraception in 2009.[45]According to a survey carried out in 2001, quoted in the 2003 CEDAW report, 63.6% of men reported that they believed family-planning services should be available.[46] Abortion is legal only in cases where the pregnant woman’s health is in danger.[47]

Son Bias

Data was not available regarding gender discrimination in regard to early childhood care. Expectations that girls will not work outside the home once they marry mean that girls’ education has not been a priority for many families.[48] At first glance, this is not immediately apparent from primary school enrolment statistics: according to UNICEF’s annual report for 2007, more girls are enrolled in primary school than boys – 77% of girls and 73% of boys.[49] But actual attendance rates (which are low overall) are slightly higher for boys (55%) than for girls (51%), and fewer girls than boys attend secondary school (19% as against 23%.[50] The figures above would indicate a degree of preference towards sons in regard to access to education, reflecting other forms of discrimination that women and girls face in Gambian society. Inheritance practices favouring sons over daughters (as detailed above) also indicate son preference. The male/female sex ratio for the total population in 2012 is 0.98.[51] There is no evidence to suggest that Gambia is a country of concern in relation to missing women.

Restricted Resources and Entitlements

Women’s access to land in Gambia is determined by their marriage status.[52] Land tenure practices in rural areas are still governed by customary law.[53] Under customary practices, women borrow rather than own the land they cultivate from their husbands, their husbands’ families or other members of the village.[54] As a result, and because of inheritance practices that are less favourable to women, in 2002 it was reckoned that only 8.2% of title deeds to land were owned by women. The recent Lowlands Agricultural Development Programme, which ran 1997–2005, redistributed land to landless farmers, many of whom were women. Women will have the right to retain ownership of this land, and to pass it on to their children.[55]

The law does not discriminate against women in the area of access to bank loans or credit facilities, but women in the Gambia face several obstacles in this area.[56] For example, most financial institutions will not grant credit facilities unless the applicant has adequate security or collateral: in most cases, they will insist on property in the form of land.[57]Since access to land is problematic for Gambian women, so is access to credit. Rural women are able to access credit however through schemes run by NGOs.[58]

Restricted Civil Liberties

There are no reported legal restrictions on women’s freedom of movement.[59] Data is unavailable regarding day-to-day restrictions on women’s freedom of movement, imposed by husbands and families. The media operates under considerable restrictions in Gambia, although this does not stop some publications being openly critical of the government.[60] Journalists face violence and intimidation from the country’s security forces when they write on matters of which the government disapproves.[61] Amnesty International reported that in 2008, several journalists were detained without charge, and two fled the country. [62] There are no legal restrictions on the right of women to participate in politics, but levels of participation remain very low at all levels of government.[63] Prior to 2002, no woman had ever stood for election to the National Assembly, although female parliamentarians had been appointed by the President.[64] At the end of 2009, there were five women in the 18-member cabinet, including the vice president.[65] The current president of the National Assembly is a woman - Elizabeth Yamide Frances Renner, elected in 2009.[66] However, only four of the Assembly’s 53 seats are held by women (7.6%).[67] In contrast to the low numbers of women active in the formal political arena, there are many active women’s rights organisations, which have been active in campaigning against practices that harm women and girls, such as FGM and domestic violence. However they, like other civic groups raising awareness on controversial issues that are, have faced increasing pressure in recent years, including threats direct from the president, and arbitrary arrest.[68]

Under Gambian law, women are entitled to 12 weeks’ paid maternity leave.[69] There are no legal restrictions in place limiting women’s access to employment, but discrimination on the part of employers and women’s general low level of education result in few women securing work in the formal public and private sectors.[70] In 2008, 71% of women over the age of 15 were considered to be economically active, however this is predominantly in agriculture (where they make up 75% of the workforce), meaning that they are not covered by employment legislation.[71] Article 144 of Gambia’s 1965 Criminal Code criminalizes homosexual conduct for both women and men as an “unnatural offence” and provides for a prison sentence of up to 14 years.[72] Amnesty International reports that in a speech in May 2008, President Yahya Jammeh threatened to expel or kill lesbian and gay people.[73]

References

  1. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (2010) The World Factbook: The Gambia , Washington, DC: CIA, Online Edition, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ga.html#top (Accessed 25 October 2010)
  2. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (2010) The World Factbook: The Gambia , Washington, DC: CIA, Online Edition, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ga.html#top (Accessed 25 October 2010)
  3. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (2010) The World Factbook: The Gambia , Washington, Dc: CIA, Online Edition, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ga.html#top (Accessed 25 October 2010)
  4. World Bank (n.d) ‘Data: Labor participation rate, female (% of female population ages 15+’, http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.TLF.CACT.FE.ZS (accessed 25 October 2010).
  5. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA. , p.14
  6. UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) (2009) ‘COUNTRY QUESTIONNAIRE FOR THE FIFTEENTH-YEAR REVIEW AND APPRAISAL OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BEIJING PLATFORM OF ACTION (BPFA+ 15): The Gambia’, http://www.unUNECA.org/UNECA_programmes/acgd/beijingplus1
  7. Government of Gambia (1997 [2002]) ‘Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, 1997, reprinted 2002’, http://www.ncce.gm/files/constitution.pdf (accessed 25 October 2010).
  8. United Nations Treaty Collection (UNTC) (n.d): Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women, countries ratified.
  9. African Union (2010) ‘List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa’ (as of 27 August 2010). http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/List/Protocol%20on%20the%20Rights%20of%20Women.pdf (accessed 15 October 2010).
  10. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA., pp.12, 8
  11. Ministry of Women’s Affairs (2010) Gambia National Gender Policy 2010-2020, available at http://www.uneca.org/acgs/beijingplus15/Questionnaire/DAW/English/Gambia.pdf, accessed 19 March 2012.p.8
  12. United Nations Development Programme (2011) Human Development Report 2011, available at http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf, accessed 29 February 2012.p.129
  13. United Nations Development Programme (2011) Human Development Report 2011, available at http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf, accessed 29 February 2012.p.141
  14. World Economic Forum (2011) The Global Gender Gap Report 2011, available at http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GenderGap_Report_2011.pdf, accessed 2 March 2012. p.11
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  16. Government of Gambia (1997 [2002]) ‘Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, 1997, reprinted 2002’, http://www.ncce.gm/files/constitution.pdf (accessed 25 October 2010)., p.42
  17. US Department of State (2010) ‘2009 Country Reports on Human Rights: The Gambia’, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135955.htm (accessed 6 December 2010)
  18. Government of Gambia (1997 [2002]) ‘Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, 1997, reprinted 2002’, http://www.ncce.gm/files/constitution.pdf (accessed 25 October 2010)., p.42
  19. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA.pp.14, 42
  20. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA. p.42
  21. Government of Gambia (1997 [2002]) ‘Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, 1997, reprinted 2002’, http://www.ncce.gm/files/constitution.pdf (accessed 25 October 2010).
  22. Gambia Multi Indicator Cluster Survey (2006) GMB_MICS_2005-2006 , downloaded at http://www.devinfo.info/genderinfo/ (accessed 25 October 2010)
  23. Gambia Multi Indicator Cluster Survey (2006) GMB_MICS_2005-2006 , downloaded at http://www.devinfo.info/genderinfo/ (accessed 25 October 2010)
  24. UN (United Nations) (2004), World Fertility Report 2003, UN Department Of Economic And Social Affairs, Population Division, New York, NY. http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/worldfertility/country_profiles.pdf (Accessed 21 October 2010).
  25. US Department of State (2010) ‘2009 Country Reports on Human Rights: The Gambia’, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135955.htm (accessed 6 December 2010).
  26. US Department of State (2010) ‘2009 Country Reports on Human Rights: The Gambia’, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135955.htm (accessed 6 December 2010).
  27. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA..42
  28. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA., p.43
  29. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA.,p.44
  30. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA., p.44
  31. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA., p.44
  32. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA., p.44
  33. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA.p.44
  34. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA.,p.44
  35. Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) (n.d.) ‘Gender and Land Rights Database: Gambia’. http://www.fao.org/gender/landrights/report/ (accessed 24 October 2010).
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  37. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA.p.44
  38. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA., p.44
  39. US Department of State (2010) ‘2009 Country Reports on Human Rights: The Gambia’, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135955.htm (accessed 6 December 2010);UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) (2009) ‘Country Questionnaire for the Fifteenth-Year Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform of Action (Bpfa+ 15): The Gambia’, p.10
  40. Center for Reproductive Rights (2008) ‘Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): Legal Prohibitions Worldwide’, http://reproductiverights.org/en/document/female-genital-mutilation-fgm-legal-prohibitions-worldwide (accessed 25 October 2010)
  41. Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) (2010) ‘Gambia: Women's rights defenders Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho arrested and detained’, http://www.wluml.org/node/6707 (accessed 25 October 2010)
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  50. UNICEF (2007) State Of The World’s Children : The Double Dividend Of Gender Equality, New York: UNICEF, http://www.unicef.org/sowc07/docs/sowc07.pdf (accessed 22 October 2010), p.119
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  56. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA., p.39
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  59. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA.,p.41
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  61. Amnesty International (2009) Amnesty International Report 2009, State of the World’s Human Rights, London: Amnesty International , p.6, 150-1
  62. Amnesty International (2009) Amnesty International Report 2009, State of the World’s Human Rights, London: Amnesty International , p.151
  63. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA.,pp.15, 19
  64. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA., p.15
  65. US Department of State (2010) ‘2009 Country Reports on Human Rights: The Gambia’, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135955.htm (accessed 6 December 2010).
  66. Inter-Parliamentary Union (n.d.) ‘GAMBIA (THE) National Assembly’ http://www.ipu.org/parline-e/reports/2117_A.htm (accessed 25 October 2010).
  67. Inter-Parliamentary Union (n.d.) ‘GAMBIA (THE) National Assembly’ http://www.ipu.org/parline-e/reports/2117_A.htm (accessed 25 October 2010).
  68. Freedom House (2010) Freedom in the World Country Reports: The Gambia, online edition, http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&year=2010&country=7826 (accessed 24 October 2010); Women Living Under Muslim Law (2010).
  69. International Labour Organization (ILO) (2009) Database of Conditions of Work and Employment Laws, http://www.ilo.org/dyn/travail/travmain.home (accessed 25 October 2010).
  70. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA.,p.19
  71. World Bank (n.d) ‘Data: Labor participation rate, female (% of female population ages 15+’, http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.TLF.CACT.FE.ZS (accessed 25 October 2010).  ; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2003. CEDAW/ C/GMB/1-3. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Combined initial, second and third periodic reports of States parties: Gambia (available at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/reports.htm). New York, USA., pp.19, 29
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  73. Amnesty International (2009) Amnesty International Report 2009, State of the World’s Human Rights, London: Amnesty International , p151

The Africa for Women's Rights Campaign

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Key facts

  • CEDAW : ratified in 1993
  • CEDAW Protocol: not signed
  • Maputo Protocol: ratified in 2005

The Campaign

On 8 March 2009 the "Africa for Women's Rights" Campaign was launched at the initiative of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), in collaboration with five non-governmental regional organisations: the African Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies(ACDHRS), Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL), Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF) and Women and Law in Southern Africa (WLSA). These organisations make up the Steering Committee responsible for the coordination of the Campaign.

The Campaign aims to put an end to discrimination and violence against women in Africa, calling on states to ratify international and regional instruments protecting women's rights, to repeal all discriminatory laws, to adopt laws protecting the rights of women and to take all necessary measures to wensure their effective implementation.

Country Focus: Gambia

Although Gambia has ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol), it has not yet ratified the Optional Protocol to CEDAW.

The Coalition of the Campaign remains particularly concerned by the following violations of women’s human rights in Gambia: the persistence of discriminatory laws; discrimination within the family; violence against women; unequal access to property, education and employment; under-representation in decision-making positions; and lack of access to health services.

Read more

Sources


The FAO Gender and Land Rights Database

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The FAO Gender and Land Rights Database contains country level information on social, economic, political and cultural issues related to the gender inequalities embedded in those rights. Disparity on land access is one of the major causes for social and gender inequalities in rural areas, and it jeopardizes, as a consequence, rural food security as well as the wellbeing of individuals and families.

Six categories

The Database offers information on the 6 following Categories:

  • National legal frame
  • International treaties and conventions
  • Customary law 
  • Land tenure and related Institutions
  • Civil society organizations
  • Selected Land Related Statistics

For detailed information on Gambia, please visit the report on Gambia in the FAO Gender and Land Rights Database.

Sources


Article Information
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