Gambia: Women have a critical role to play - VP

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Women have a critical role to play in the attainment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include the recognition of girls and women’s equality and empowerment and their wellbeing, Vice President Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy said on Tuesday.

Dr. Njie-Saidy, also Minister of Women’s Affairs, said The Gambia had registered significant progress in gender equality and equity, when she spoke on International Women’s Day on Tuesday.

International Women’s Day is to celebrate progress made in women’s empowerment the world over.

This year’s event in the Gambia was held at Bufer Zone in Tallinding under the theme, “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment for Sustainable Development.”

Dr. Njie-Saidy said that the Day was also meant to take stock of the achievements and challenges in the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women at national and global levels.

She said: “As we mark the day, let us all remember that without equality and equity none of the MDGs or proposed SDGs will be accomplished.

“Therefore, achieving gender equality requires equal access by women and girls to education, employment and income generating activities, health care, land and resources, and equal contribution to decision making.”

In The Gambia, she said, “maternal and infant mortality rates have dropped significantly and deliveries attended by skilled birth attendants have improved tremendously, and thus attaining the target set for the proportion of the population using improved drinking water".

In the area of women’s rights promotion and protection, she said the enactment of the Women’s Amendment Act 2015 prohibiting the practice of female genital mutilation in The Gambia was a significant milestone in addressing violence against women and girls.

She said by extension, the Act ensured the fulfillment of “our international commitments to the attainment of gender equality, equity and empowerment of women and girls for sustainable development”.

Dr. Njie-Saidy said ending teenage and child marriage preserved a girl’s childhood, promoted her education and reduced her exposure to violence and abuse, adding this allowed her to fulfill her potentials in life.

“It can also break inter-generational cycles of poverty and allow women and girls to fully participate in society as girls with skills, education and access to economic assets,” she said.
-0- PANA MSS/MA 9March2016

09 march 2016 08:33:41

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