The Gambia adopted its first National Action Plan (NAP) in 2012, but the NAP does not identify a specific period of implementation. The development of the NAP involved reviewing existing literature on UNSCR 1325, the Gambia’s National Gender and Women’s Empowerment Policy 2010-2020, other laws, conventions, bills and policies that affect the rights of women and girls internationally and nationally. The NAP has three overarching goals: to ensure greater respect for women’s right to participation in the decision-making processes on equal footing with men; to eliminate discrimination against women and to end SGBV perpetrated against women; and to involve women in the security sector, conflict resolution mechanisms and peace processes, including peacekeeping operations. Each goal has corresponding actions, outputs, and indicators as well as an allocated budget.
Gambia reported on the implementation of its NAP in its national reporting for Beijing+25 and in preparation for CSW64 (2020). Specifically, the country indicated the development of a second NAP, which will have the following priorities (p. 27):
- Sensitization on and popularization of women’s human rights and promotion of peace, including UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions targeting decision makers; various sectors; women and men at all levels; educational and academic institutions as well as opinion, religious and traditional leaders, and other stakeholders to appreciate gender equality and to know what provisions are available;
- Capacity strengthening of partner organisations on gender, women, peace and security to systematically build the foundation of the ripple down effect need to reach a broader constituency of the population and to enhance strategic partnerships;
- Strengthening the early warning mechanism to avoid internal conflict;
- Implement the recommendations of research directed at enhancing participation and representation of women;
- Exchange visits with neighbouring countries to enhance partnerships, learning and sharing on good practices.
The Gambia gained independence in 1965 from the United Kingdom, after decades of colonial rule under the British empire. In 1981, Gambia experienced a failed coup attempt, while another coup attempt in 1994 led to the overthrow of the government and subsequent military rule until 1996. Political instability in the country continued throughout the 2000s, with failed coup attempts in 2000, 2006, and 2014. The country underwent a state of emergency following its 2016 elections, with the refusal of the then president Yahya Jammeh to concede power, and returned to normalcy after international intervention, specifically through the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Women were disproportionately impacted by the 22-year rule under president Yahya Jammeh, which was marked by widespread human rights violations. Specifically, women human rights defenders were threatened for any possible critique of the government, while women and girls were deliberately targeted with sexual and gender-based violence.