President Barrow Marks International Women’s Day with Meeting Women and Other Development Partners

President Barrow Marks International Women’s Day with Meeting Women and Other Development Partners

State House, Banjul, 8th March 2024: President Adama Barrow marked International Women’s Day by meeting with the Maa Foundation, Women in Business Advocacy Group, a South Korean delegation, and the outgoing country representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Desta Tiruneh, at State House in Banjul. The meeting was held to celebrate and recognise the contributions of women in various fields.

The discussions centred on promoting more opportunities for women and girls. President Barrow expressed commitment to promoting gender equity and equality in all matters of national development for economic, political and social achievement.

Maa Foundation advocates for policy, legislative and social change to support women and marginalised groups. Fatoumata Jawara, the CEO of Maa Foundation, appealed to the government to review the procurement procedures to increase opportunities for women in business.

Mrs Emily Sarr, a delegation member, expressed gratitude for the widening of opportunities for women. She, however, appealed to the President and his Government to consider 30% affirmative action in procurement. “With the current enrolment of girls in the educational sector, I am convinced that we will get to the 30% quota at the governance and decision-making level”, President Barrow reassured.

The President also expressed satisfaction with the increasing involvement of women in business enterprises and other sectors. “I was impressed meeting a female contractor and her engineer daughter whose work progress was ahead of schedule in their road construction contract”, he recalled.

Over the years, President Barrow’s Administration has been working with dedicated partners, both international and local communities, to increase access to health care, including reproductive health care, expand economic opportunities for women and girls, support women in agriculture, most especially in the area of rice and groundnut cultivation to reduce the high dependency on imported rice in the country as well as increase farmer’s income.

The Gambia has made significant strides in improving its healthcare sector, particularly in reducing maternal mortality rates. Dr. Desta Tiruneh, the outgoing country representative of WHO, expressed his appreciation to the Government of The Gambia for their remarkable achievements in strengthening healthcare systems. The country has made progress in areas such as its immunisation programme, which protects children from infectious diseases, and tobacco control, leading to increased revenue, an oxygen plant, and a significant reduction in maternal mortality. This progress is a testament to the government’s commitment to improving the healthcare system in the country.

Additionally, the South Korean delegation headed by Ambassador Chong-weon Shin discussed with President Barrow strategies to increase rice production since it is the staple food for the majority of Gambians. The delegation was accompanied by Muhammed Jah of Q-Group, a South Korean consul in The Gambia and the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Demba Sabally.

Many women are involved in rice cultivation than in any other livelihood activity in The Gambia. Hence, the government deem it necessary to continue to promoting the establishment of rice cultivation complexes to improve rice seed production and supply systems throughout the country. “Rice is a national issue. We have to stand on our feet and produce enough food,” President Barrow said


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