Are the armed and security forces discriminating against female security personnel? The policy to discharge/dismiss a female security officer on the grounds of pregnancy in the first 18 months of their enlistment is pure discrimination. It’s discrimination on the grounds of maternity.
Is it not a discrimination against a female officer to deny her the right to choose her husband or marry to her mate in the same services and continue to serve in the outfit? Asking one of them to resign is discrimination on the basis of her marital status.
Section 22(1) of the Women’s Act prohibits “every form of discrimination against women on the grounds of maternity” and sub (2) and (3) criminalise dismissal of a woman from her employment “on the basis of her marital status.” A policy cannot override an Act. Equally, service rules, regulations and manuals are subservient to Acts.
Is it just and fair to dismiss a female officer who got pregnant within the “prohibited period” and normalize or fail to take steps against a male officer who impregnated a lady either during the period of recruitment or immediately after enlistment? These are the cracks in the implementation of the laws.
I call on government (heads of security services) to “take adequate steps to reform existing discriminatory laws and practices in order to promote and protect the rights of women” (section 7(4)(d) of the Women’s Act).
When the change context is
overlooked, history repeats itself
For a comprehensive change in the Gambia, governance, administration and development, rules must change.
The New Constitution (CRC220) is a milestone in helping to achieve the New Gambia’s dream.
It is imperative that all Gambian political parties, civil society organisations, social movements, public and private institutions and members of the public advocate for the change we want.
It is in the interest of the our nascent democracy to embrace a Government of 50 percent plus , a government that will empower the National Assembly and Diaspora Voting for Development.
We should not create our own storms and cry when it rains. We have cried for electoral reforms for the longest and this is our opportunity.
It will be a political suicide for any political party to undermine the success of the New Constitution. I am calling on the Barrow Administration to engage the IEC to ensure the logistics are in place to ensure a free and fair referendum and elections leaving no one behind.
MC Cham Junior
GDC National Youth President