Feb 21, 2020, 2:40 PM
Vice President and Minister for Women’s Affairs, Isatou Njie-Saidy, Wednesday
applauded the Gambian leader for taking the concerns of his people at heart and
trying to address them accordingly.
Speaking at the APRC women’s rally in Jarra Soma, the Vice President thanked the Gambian leader for his love and support to the women of The Gambia, adding that the Gambian women are proud to have the President as their leader.
She said the Gambia government had made tremendous strides in various areas such as health, education, empowerment of women and youths, children’s issues, agriculture in particular, and its vision 2016 food self-sufficiency drive.
Addressing thousands of spectators, VP said that over the years, “tremendous achievements” had been made in the history of women’s empowerment since the advent of the Second Republic.
She said the main goal of the government is to fight against poverty hence there have been programmes that would ensure significant reduction of poverty among Gambian women, through the provision of livelihood skills to women through vocational training.
Looking at education as a key to development, the vice president emphasised that “the government ensures that equal educational opportunities for men and women are guaranteed through affirmative actions”, such as the reduction of school fees or extension of free education up to Grade 12.
“The current curriculum was reviewed to ensure that it caters for the employment and development needs for women,” she stated.
She also pointed out that significant progress was also registered in the field of education in terms of enrolment and retention of girls in schools.
The vice president also elaborated on health, stating that health policies and programmes have also made significant impact, as there are significant increases in the number of government hospitals, effective, accessible and affordable reproductive health services.
Stressing that the low prevalence rate of HIV, as well as the decline of infant mortality rate has drastically reduced, she thanked the National Reproductive Health Policy, National HIV/AIDS Policy, the National Nutrition Policy and the National Population Policy and plan of action.
She also highlighted the president’s treatment programmes for women and girls through traditional treatment programmes.
She said government encourages women to participate in the democratic governance, particularly in the upcoming parliamentary election.
She urged all Gambian women as they chart the road to elections to come forward as well as to identify potential women candidates for the upcoming elections.
“I believe there is a clear need to mobilize our efforts to consolidate peace and stability, deepen the roots of democratic governance and bring about structural transformation to sustain the growth momentum,” the VP noted.
The vice president added that efforts had been made to stop trafficking in women and children, as achievement and progress had been made since 2010, and the Trafficking in Person’s Act 2007 is also being enforced.
“This is a comprehensive piece of legislation that addresses amongst other things, the menace of trafficking in women and children,” she said.
She said the main purpose of the act is to prevent, suppress, and punish those engaged in trafficking in persons, and to rehabilitate and reintegrate victims of trafficking.
He added that this has warranted the setting up of a national agency against trafficking established to ensure the implementation of the act.
This, she said, is the new era for women’s emancipation as they have achieved a lot and would surely continue to achieve more under the stewardship of their beloved president and father of the nation.
“Congratulations to your excellency for your efforts in all sectors of advancement recognised and awarded both nationally and internationally,” she said.
She said the women of the country are grateful on the continuing advancement of girls and women’s agenda, empowerment and related achievements.