The Gambia will be going to the polls on December 4th, 2021, the first presidential election since Yahya Jammeh’s loss in 2016.
Incumbent Adama Barrow is challenged by his long political friend turn opposition Ousainou Darboe of UDP, well-known politician Halifa Sallah of PDOIS, Mama Kandeh of GDC, and Essa Faal.
As a country goes to another election, questions come to everyone’s mind, “what about the youths and women.” The process of this election has seen the participation of youths and women more than any other election in the past–a clear manifestation that the Gambian youths and women– are yearning for change and development more than ever. Thus every single vote cast will determine the lives of Gambian youths and women for the next five years.
Answering the question “how will you want the winning candidate and his government to address women and youths issues in terms of employment, health, and other relevant issues” five young Gambians share their expectations with us from the winning candidate after the election process.
These opinions have been edited for clarity purposes; however, the views remain the contributors solely.
Dembo Jorbateh–Civil Servant, Artist Manager
I think Women’s and Children’s affairs must be mainstreamed in The Gambia. Of recent, we have seen so many killings of young ladies and children in this Country. The reproductive health rights of women are not being protected.
The next government should come up with stricter policies to address issues of rape and killings.
In addition, the security sector of the Country should be reformed.
Medical equipment and facilities should be in our public hospitals, and there should be proper reproductive health care for women.
Pregnant women should be given utmost attention at our public hospitals, and their health checkups during pregnancy should matter.
I am optimistic about change, and I am sure that a new Government is a way forward for The Gambia. Hence, the current government has not done anything in the health sector to protect women’s and children’s rights; the current government has not done anything about the massive unemployment of youths in The Gambia.
As a Country, we all need to echo similar sentiments regarding the rights of children and women for a better country.
Ya Ida Manneh- Student
The government should provide more job opportunities for the youths. I think the government should allow more foreign investors to come and invest in the county. And it is high time the next government gives a chance to youths to be in high positions in the government.
In the case of women, the government should provide more medicine in hospitals and healthcare centers. The government also should train more gynecologists to be even in our local health centers so that if a woman has a complication, she can be taken care of quickly. And also, the nurses in the hospital and health centers should be very professional all the time. Those in the healthcare centers should ensure that if a pregnant woman needs C-section, she should be transferred to the nearest hospital. Frequently, the ambulance in the hospitals did not have fuel and a lot of life in this case. The government should provide fuel for ambulances in all hospitals and healthcare centers.
Yusupha Jatta–Fashionist, Media personality
Firstly, I will love the government to involve the youths in the significant decision-making rather than making decisions on their behalf and stop taking feedback from actors that have no clue about young Gambians.
Secondly, to organize an annual state dinner involving women and youths, all the prominent women and youth actors must interact and network. By doing so, they will get first-hand information from them plus various youth and women organizations.
To massively spend in the sport, fashion, arts, and cultural industries. All these sectors comprise 95% of women and youths.
I will want that the incoming government add women and youths to its priority list by empowering and equipping them, thus protecting their rights as encapsulated by the constitution and other enactments of the N. A
Women and children are the most vulnerable, yet nothing is done in their case. Every woman has the right to a safe maternal birth. Every child deserves an excellent hygienic environment to grow and become a better youth.
What I expect from the next president is to set tangible reforms in the health, education, infrastructure, and youths and sports ministries to avoid any further damage in the lives of women, children, and the youths. Create awareness centers for the youths, Create job opportunities, and access to better living conditions.
The Sister Show is urging every Gambian to maintain tolerance during and after elections. After all, Gambia’s development is everyone’s primary goal.