By Olimatou Coker
The Gambia Inclusive and Resilient Agricultural Value Chains Development Project (GIRAV) under the Central Projects Coordinating Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture yesterday organized a one-day sensitization program on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Violence Against Children (VAC) for the project stakeholders and partners in Baobab Resort, Bijilo.
GIRAV is a five-year Gambian Government-World Bank funded by USD47.91 million (World Bank: US$40m), Gambian Gov’t: US$4m) & Beneficiaries’ counterpart contribution: 3.91m) project. The Project Development Objective is to Promote the development of inclusive, resilient, and competitive agricultural value chains, focusing on smallholder farmers and agribusinesses in project target areas across the country.
Speaking, Madam Mariyann Jabang, Director Gender Bureau at the Ministry of Gender and Children Welfare, introduced the day-long workshop objective.
Director Jabang added that these are workshops that they really value at the Ministry of Gender, children, and social welfare because these are workshops where in broader terms, they are addressing gender-based violence, sexual exploitation, and abuse. Which are C and sexual harassment. In this context, “we are looking at the World Bank context and the implementation of projects. But in broader terms, we are also looking for the concerted measures, the measures that we take as implementing partners as a government to strengthen our approach and management, as well as preventing prevention of gender-based violence and violent violence against children in the Gambia.”
She also presented The Gambia Government policy directives on GBV and its achievements.
In his remarks, Lamin Camara, the Environmental Specialist of the GIRAV Project, said: “We said 35% of the women worldwide experience physical or sexual, intimate violence and also as a globally 7% of the women have sexually assaulted by either their partners or others. Globally as many as 38% of the murders of women are committed by intimate partners and these numbers, if you look at them, you would agree that they are not only diversity they have some significant social and economic costs, so in order to avoid these things, in our investment project, the World Bank is supporting the GIRAV and the government of the Gambia is committed to implementing some measures. We call it the policy directions or what we call environment and social standards to ensure that all activities, gender-based violence free.”
He said because of those measures, the bank has put in place what they call the global gender-based violence task force. And as part of the recommendation of this task force, they came up with some key action plans that are necessary as far as bank investments are concerned, as the socials, and environmental specialists for the project Pro project, it is their responsibility to ensure that their stakeholders are fully aware of this information or this instrument, so that during implementation, they will know what to do as far as they engage with their beneficiaries are concerned.
According to him, the key among those action plans is to develop methodologies for assessing the risk of sexual exploitation and abuses, as well as gender-based violence that’s the key action plan.