FAO, partners validate Gambia’s Gender Assessment

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the government of The Gambia and the ECOWAS Commission yesterday convened a daylong synergy to validate the country’s Gender Assessment at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, Kololi.

The convergence brought together stakeholders from different departments and ministries to participate in the Country Gender Assessment of the Agriculture and rural sectors in The Gambia.

The Country Gender Assessment highlights gender gaps in access to and control over proactive resources, services and markets, and gives policy recommendations for expanding women’s opportunities in inclusive agricultural growth as a pathway to rural poverty reduction.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the vice president and minister of Women’s Affairs Fatoumattta Jallow Tambajang, said that the country’s gender profile was prepared within the framework of a strong partnership between her office, the ECOWAS Commission, Department of Social Affairs and Gender and FAO.

“This joint venture brought together political clout, technical expertise and multi-stakeholders approach, putting rural women at the centre of the agriculture growth and transformation agenda in The Gambia” she said.

She further stated that The Gambia has also enacted a Women’s Land Act which provides women the right to equal treatment, adding that the Local Government Act institutionalizes, decentralised and inclusive governance.

For her part, Dr. Perpetua Katepa Kalala, The FAO Country Rep. emphasised that The Gambia women comprises 78% of economically active population who work in agriculture compared to just 57% of men.

“Despite the fact that more women than men work in agriculture, they, however, are not afforded the same rights as men, such as land, credit, technology and access to markets” she noted.

Dr. Kalala added that the profile also points out a needed action to address the bottlenecks to women’s full contribution and benefits from the opportunities created by the agricultural growth and transformation agenda.

Also speaking at the opening ceremony, Adama Ngum Njie permanent sectary, Ministry of Agriculture lamented that the validation of this report in the first quarter of the New Year signifies that they have entered 2018 with resolutions of hope and aspiration to make The Gambia a more gender responsive country.

“Agriculture and its related sectors are recognised as strategic interventions for gender equality and women empowerment since majority of women are often unskilled or semi-skilled engaged in livelihood activities that have a bearing on agricultural production” she stressed.

She further said that the main policy documents guiding agricultural development in The Gambia are the Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy, The Gambia National Agricultural investment Program and the Ministry of Agriculture Strategic Plan.

Author: Fatou B. Cham & Isatou Senghore