The ability to speak your mind in a public or social matter should not be a privilege. We like to think that getting involved in local or even national politics is an option for those willing to contribute and help improve life in their community. Until recently, however, this was not a possibility within reach for Ljubisha Saveski, a 40-year-old father and fashion designer […]
Learning from Gambia’s COVID-19 response and its impact on marginalized groups
The Gambian Government rolled out a range of measures, from lockdowns to humanitarian relief packages, in response to COVID-19 once the first case was confirmed in the country in March 2020. But how has the implementation of the nation’s COVID-19 response impacted the lives and livelihoods of the more vulnerable people in The Gambia, specifically persons with disabilities (PWDs) and women?
This was the focus of a series of national dialogues in The Gambia organised by Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) in partnership with the British High Commission (BHC). The national dialogues, which were held over three meetings between October and November 2020, provided an environment for open and constructive engagement with representatives from PWDs and women.
WFD and the BHC commissioned a report to present an account of the participants during the national dialogues under the theme: Learning from Gambia’s response to COVID-19: Lessons, Successes and Challenges.
Participating organizations that contributed to the report include disabled persons organizations (DPOs); civil society organizations (CSOs), particularly those working on women’s rights; and representatives from key government offices such as government ministries and the National Assembly.
Some key themes emerged from the discussions: first, how the lack of inclusivity in design of policy interventions and implementation led to marginalised groups being inadvertently ignored or poorly served; second, how some of the Government’s active responses to COVID-19 had a greater and harder impact on marginalised groups; and third, how some specific negative consequences for marginalised groups of COVID-19 still require more direct government intervention.
The report seeks to present the captured insights and viewpoints of the participants to the Gambian government and relevant stakeholders.
Making the right to vote accessible to all: PWDs observe the parliamentary elections in North Macedonia
The right to vote is unfortunately still not completely accessible to all citizens in North Macedonia. 76 percent of voting stations have stairs and on half of them (49% percent) there are no access ramps. One third of access ramps cannot be used, due to improper inclination and width. These are some of the findings […]
Democracy calls for the participation and inclusion of all people. However, persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Kenya face systemic exclusion from mainstream governance. This is despite the requirement by the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 to have PWDs occupy at least 5% of the elective and appointive positions. For instance, only 5 out of the 349 […]