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"Poverty In Gambia Has A Feminine Face"

Sep 16, 2009, 6:31 AM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh & Isatou Senghore

The Actionaid Country Director, Dr. Kujejatou Manneh has lamented that poverty in The Gambia has a 'feminine face', simply because development interventions sometimes do not promote gender equity in delivery of and access to services, thus putting women at the disadvantaged.

Actionaid country boss made these remarks yesterday at the Paradise Suites Hotel during a gender audit validation, a report commissioned by Actionaid in 2006/2007.

According to her, women are also generally less educated than men, and thus have lower chances of getting quality jobs to uplift their standards of living.

For Actionaid, she noted, this situation is unacceptable. "Principles of equity and social justice require us to work to ensure that everyone has equal opportunity for expressing and using their potential, irrespective of sex, age, race, colour, class, caste, religion, ethnic background and HIV status or disability," she said.

Madam Manneh further stated that "the focus of the women's rights theme in the current country strategy paper is on transforming gender relations in order for women and girls in The Gambia to grow in confidence, skills and knowledge so that they may live without fear of violence and participate effectively in decisions that affect their lives".

She revealed that the study was commissioned to represent a gender audit of Actionaid the Gambia's women's rights programme, and a situational analysis of the situation.

"It's no secret that gender relations and inequalities are fundamental causes of poverty," she stated.

Madam Manneh further revealed that it is a well-known fact that globally, women and girls do not enjoy the same status, power or access to have control over resources as men and boys.

After the opening remarks by Actionaid country boss, the lead consultant, Dr. Isatou Touray took the participants through the report.

Stakeholders later added their inputs to the document for final adoption.