Jun 17, 2013, 12:29 PM
European Union and ActionAid The Gambia D26M co-funded project Friday certified
seven women, as well as presented land documents to women beneficiaries at a
graduation ceremony held at the Bakoteh community centre.
The ceremony was attended by women beneficiaries and EU delegates, as well as heads and staff of ActionAid The Gambia.
Speaking at the ceremony, Attila Lajos, EU Ambassador to The Gambia, said they financed the project because, in recent years, the economic growth rate in The Gambia had “not necessarily translated into empowered and improvement of living standards for all”.
Poverty as well as gender inequality was very persistent, and “women are continually facing discrimination” in terms of access to education, work, economic asset and participation in government.
“Today we have witnessed and heard for the first time that women in The Gambia are being empowered to lead their communities as alkalos, and also being members of district tribunals where most of the issues and decisions taken affect them directly,” he said.
The EU was part of this achievement together with all the women in The Gambia, he added.
Also speaking was Omar Badjie, Executive Director of ActionAid The Gambia, who said the presentation of certificates to these women was made possible due to the partnership between the EU and ActionAid The Gambia.
He said the partnership supports ActionAid to move on with their strategic objective, adding that EU came to their support, which is very timely in terms of looking at how these women could be empowered and capacitized, so that they become self-confident and self-reliant economically.
The support from the EU could not be over-emphasised because it helps them to further strengthen the collaboration between players, in their efforts to empower local institutions to enhance the sustainability of the programme, he continued.
He added that the programme with support from the EU made possible to bring different networks together to form an alliance, so that all efforts could be put together to enhance the sustainability.
“The support provided to the women and other partners range from leadership training to management and capacity development, which is very critical for sustainability. The project has built the capacity of women and created the opportunity of self-employment at the community level.”
Pansaw Nyassi, project coordinator, said the overall objective of the project was to contribute to gender equality in The Gambia by promoting women’s access to socioeconomic rights and economic empowerment.
He said that among the achievements was that 3000 people were sensitised on women’s socioeconomic rights and empowerment, and over 200 women were made to be aware of their socioeconomic rights in Niamina
Six women, who are members of the district tribunals, received training on women’s rights and legal frameworks.
The women beneficiaries also showed their appreciation to the project, saying it would go a long way in helping them to generating their own economic income and meet their needs, as the project had empowered them with skills and information needed for them to grow economically and also speak up against rights abuses.