VP Njie-Saidy on Violence Against Women

Monday, May 11, 2009

Women in all walks of life on Saturday converged at July 22 Square in Banjul to commemorate the International Women's Day.

This year's theme was "Ending Violence Against Women and Girls".

The Vice President and Minister of Women's Affairs, Dr. Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy, graced the event that attracted thousands of women across the country.

In her keynote address, Dr. Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy said the 'Women's Day' is a day set aside to commemorate women's contributions to national and global development and to further identify challenges faced by them so as to map out forward-looking strategies.

The celebration, she added, had provided a unique opportunity for women to network amongst themselves, share experiences and good practices.

"As we celebrate, let us take stock of our achievements and re-strategize to ensure continued and effective empowerment of our women, while increasing gender mainstreaming initiatives at all levels and by all stakeholders," she advised.

She said that government has been working to establish, or where necessary improve on gender-related policies, legislation and programming, which is more than ever before. She added that women are now participating in decision-making processes and in politics.

"As you can see, both the Vice President and Speaker of the National Assembly and three other ministers are women. The Secretary General and head of the Civil Service is also a woman. Apart from this group of leading women, others are serving in decision-making positions in other sectors," she remarked.

In the area of education, VP Njie-Saidy said, they have achieved gender parity at the basic level and are now concentrating on quality, relevance and parity at other levels.

"Skills training facilities and services are improving and expanding daily, and women are not left behind," she added.

On the economic front, Vice President Njie-Saidy noted that a marked increase in the participation of women in running major businesses in the import/export sectors has been witnessed.

She intimated that government will continue to pursue policies, programmes and projects to further enhance national efforts towards women's empowerment and the attainment of gender quality, particularly in ending violence against women and girls.

Author: Sarata Jabbie-Dibba
Source: Picture: Isatou Njie-Saidy