By Ebrima Jallow
The Vice President of The Gambia said trade is one of the “catalytic issues” that will unleash the potential of least developed countries (LDCs) across the spectrum.
She was speaking on the sidelines of the Aid for Trade Global Review 2019, where she discusses the potential of women in trade.
“But we also need to take into account the fact that women have been through this [trade] for a very long time and they have been engaged in most of the issues, and yet the statistics when you give them a glance it does not seem like their concerns have been taken into consideration.
“With the dimension of trade as an empowering process for LDCs, I think gender considerations have to be given all importance so that the contribution of vulnerable groups – mainly women and young people – can feature prominently.
Policies and the support that is given need to focus on them and have the strategic direction that will help the groups unleash themselves.
And this will address poverty in general too,” the vice president said.
According to her, it is only when there is inclusiveness in this whole process that Africa and the world over will be able to regain its potential in terms of the impact that they want to make, without leaving anyone behind.
She said: “Women are a very critical category for me because they are being affected by traditions, belief systems and the patriarchal structures that dominate most of these processes that put women at the back of everything.
But yet when you come to look at the lived realities within our countries, in the field of agriculture for example women have a primary role to play.
They are involved in a lot of production processes, but when it comes to key decision-making positions, ownership of productive resources and also making decisions on matters of the household economy, they are second-class citizens.
These are the things that we have to address.”
She said women are key if we are serious about addressing the gaps we have.
“So, using trade as a lever to unleash potential is important for both women and men but most of all women because trade is supposed to address those gaps and challenges, and the vulnerabilities that we talk about in terms of the economy,” she stated.