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FAWEGAM holds Career Day Fair for Girls

Nov 4, 2011, 2:04 PM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay & Fatoumatta Jawara

Forum for African Women Educationists (FAWEGAM) The Gambia chapter on 2 November 2011 organised a career day fair for girls at the Gambia Teachers Union Complex in Kanifing.

The theme for this year was ‘gender empowerment for girls through career choices’.

In his opening remarks, Mr Ebrima Sisawo, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, said career development for girls is one of the important aspects of their education.

He lamented that the poor performance of girls in school, especially in the mathematics, science and technical subjects is preventing girls from taking up jobs outside the traditional areas in arts and commerce.

He said in high school, girls are not socialised to select the science subjects. “When they show interest in these subjects they are usually not very popular,” he said. “This is the reason women and girls are also less likely to work in certain fields like science, engineering and technology.”

He cited an example of how women are now moving on top of the ladder. “Even though the participation of women in the Gambia Armed Forces is a relatively new phenomenon we have seen their rapid rise through the ranks to the position of brigadier general.”

For her part, Kaddijatou Jallow, chairperson of FAWEGAM, said career day is very relevant.  “I would urge all the students here present to take advantage of the various organizations here present to acquire maximum information that would guide them in making career choices,” she said, adding that the forum would give participants the opportunity to understand how to choose a career.

Yadicon Njie Eribo, coordinator of FAWEGAM, reaffirmed their resolve of the development of the African women and girls through education. “Our daily work is all about improving the lives of women and girls,” she said.

She thanked the US Embassy for sponsoring the event through Women for Action.

She also encouraged girls to believe in themselves saying they can become anything in life.

In her speech, Pamela Ann White, US ambassador to The Gambia, said The Gambia is one of the countries that meet the educational targets of the Millennium Development Goals.

She said 50 per cent of students from primary schools proceed to senior schools and “it is very unusual to have a president who is committed to girls’ education like President Jammeh”.

The US ambassador also urged the students to take responsibility of their education and progress. To make a difference they have to go beyond the primary school, she averred, saying, “Money does not matter but commitment is what is required in making a difference.”