NO fewer than 40 Guinean women carefully selected from all the strata of the country’s society have received a gender sensitive elections training and are now catalysts for participatory governance and development.
Based on their training, the women are to be drivers of an even, participatory political process and help to deliver good governance through sensitisation of the people on the challenges of electioneering faced by women in particular. They are also now expected to be in the vanguard of advocacy for gender sensitivity in that country.
The training workshop which uses the Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections, BRIDGE, model held from the in Conakry, Guinea, October 1-3, 2015. It helped participants to identify some of the deficits in the advocacy capacities of women while incorporating elements of political leadership and dialogue skills meant to further drive the move for gender equality in national political representation.
The day-long, robust training exercise also saw the emergence of Fatimata Fafa Balde as a qualified fully accredited BRIDGE trainer. Balde was adjuged as one catalyst who met all requirements within the period and therefore appointed as one of the trainers.
Diaby Fatoumoita Sylla, secretary general of the ministry of Social Affairs, who stood in for Sanoiboi Koiba, her minister, brought in a message of hope from the Guinean government to the women at the closing ceremony. Koiba said that true friends are usually known in difficult times. She stressed that ECOWAS had always stood by the women of Guinea at the period of their great suffering and thanked the ECOWAS Elections Division for promoting women advancement while also acknowledging the quality of the training given to them.
Koiba disclosed that her ministry had now recommended that the same type of the BRIDGE training should be given to other ministries, government agencies and more women across the inner recesses of Guinea as a guarantee that knowledge gained would be shared.
Beneta Tarr, speaking on behalf of Sintiki Ugbe, director of gender, who represented Fatimata Dia Sow, ECOWAS commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, thanked the Guinean government for the cooperation and positive attitude displayed throughout the training and asked the beneficiaries of the training to regard themselves as game changers in the assuredness that the ECOWAS Commission would support of their goals and aspirations.
Balde, an exemplary new trainer, expressed her gratitude to all for being selected to lead in the new task for women. “I am very happy for this opportunity. It is good for the women of Guinea. It is a call to pay back to the people of Guinea and the government for what I have been able to learn. My joy is to be able to reawaken the participation of women in development and in democracy in Guinea,” she said.
The BRIDGE election module featured training on how to handle such critical issues such as nature of electoral cycle, election integrity, barriers in electoral process, role and expectation of stakeholders in the electoral process as well as electoral security and the role of women in the prevention and peaceful settlement of electoral disputes among others.
— Oct 6, 2015 @ 13:40 GMT