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Thursday, September 24, 2020

UN rep lauds Gambia’s gender equality drive

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She said conditions in the country have improved for women to acquire education and participate in decision-making positions.

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Ms Lekeotje made this remark at the Kairaba Beach Hotel at a UN-EU joint forum yesterday, as part of events marking International Women’s Day commemoration.

She said: “In The Gambia maternal mortality rate has declined from 750 per 100,000 to 443 per 100,000 life birth. The Gambia has reached parity in education; more girls are enrolled in school. 

“In The Gambia, the Women’s Act 2010, Domestic Violence Act 2014, and the Sexual Offence Act 2014 are now in place.” 

The UN representative, however, said that although there is an increase in the number of women in decision-making positions, the country still has other developing countries to catch up with. 

“Countries like Chile, Argentina, [the] Philippines and Liberia to name a few, have elected women as president,” she said, adding that despite the progress, gender equality is yet to be fully achieved. 

“Women continue to form the majority of the folks, but women’s access to productive and economic resources remains low,” she said. “Women and girls continue to be victims of sexual and domestic violence. The MDGs have brought us good progress. The post-2015 development agenda must get us to our goal to end gender inequality.”

Also speaking, the EU charge d’ affair, Ms Agnes Guillard said: “If we want our society to prosper, it is necessary to foster the opportunities of old women. Women’s social economic contribution is much needed in any country in order for these countries to develop and flourish. We must also work to empower women and provide them with access to economic opportunities to ensure their participation.

“One of the ways to change the stereotype, prejudice and degrading attitudes faced by women is through training and teaching people of the advantages of empowering women and to stand up against any form of discriminatory behaviour.”

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