WBAG holds breakfast meeting to discuss challenges and achievements of women

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By Olimatou Coker

The Women’s Business Advocacy Group (WBAG) Friday organized a breakfast meeting with the UN agencies to discuss the achievements and challenges faced by women.

The meeting was held at GCCI house in Kerr Jula.

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WBAG acts as the voice for women in business. It seeks to influence policy and decision-making on procurement and trade-related matters to expand opportunities for women. To effectively carry out its work and achieve the set objectives, a critical success factor includes fostering partnerships for optimal outcomes. As such, engagement with relevant development partners is pertinent to harness meaningful collaboration and engender discussions for the realization of the group’s object,

The Women’s Business Advocacy Group (WBAG) is a small group of women, with male champions who spearhead and advocate for the empowerment and inclusion of Gambian women in business.

The group also advocates for gender-sensitive procurement policies resulting in expanded opportunities for women in business.

The objective of WBAG is to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with established business people to learn from their experiences, sharing of knowledge and new insight on entrepreneurship, marketing, technology, and opportunities, and also raise women business owner’s understanding of the importance of business networking can help business to boost sales, increase efficiency and morale and build awareness of business women’s brands.

The purpose of WBAG is to advocate for policy and legal reform for women’s entrepreneurship and to promote social and political dialogue, that provides support to women entrepreneurs.

Sarata Conateh, Chief Executive Officer of GCCI, said the group will be able to support women in businesses going forward. “I have been doing so, particularly in the area of procurement. It is already looking at strategies for greater economic empowerment for women which is something that we are very excited about, we all believe it’s very crucial as well. So we are happy that you took your time to be with us this morning to share some personal experiences about your work and entrepreneurship journey.”

Fatoumatta Jawara Dukureh the Chairperson of WBAG, said: “This very timely meeting is aimed at exploring possible areas of continued partnership and also strengthening existing relationship. Our advocacy for gender sensitive documents and related policies as well as actions to ensure that we have a level of understanding in the field of business to be able to address the bottlenecks and challenges affecting the effective participation of women in business.“

“It’s important that we take close reflection on the situation and involvement of women in business and related economic activities and have a sense of the case where the world is an economic hardship, of which the Gambia is no exception.

“The full participation of women in procurement is yet to be realized, and we need partnership to create a conducive environment for our effective participation,” she said, while adding that she is certain they can do that together.

She said the group is designed in a way to complement the efforts of the government by working closely with partners to serve as a form of umbrella and body that can ease the connection between partners and relevant communities starting with the rural component.

“It hasn’t been easy in the midst of COVID-19 however, it has provided us the opportunity to be prepared for future situations.

“As we enter 2023, our advocacy will be extensive, dynamic, and vibrant. We are at a critical juncture and our partnership is crucial in achieving our common agenda. We appreciate all partnership support and continue to ask for more effective deliberations and results of the work we do we deem it necessary to extend our work from being just an advocacy group, but instead a woman in advocacy and empowerment Economic Empowerment Network,” WBAG chairperson Jawara-Dukureh said.