FAO Liaison Office in New York
 
Status
reviewed & published
Title
FAO’s contributions to women’s empowerment highlighted at a CSW side event by Gambian Vice President
Description

28 March 2017, Banjul, The Gambia - Women and girls are important ingredients of sustainable human development, because of what they contribute to the GDP and nation-building, noted H.E. Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang, acting Vice President of The Gambia, in New York, USA on 22 March 2017 at a side event on women’s participation in economic gains and governance.

 

Organized by the Office of the Vice President and Ministry of Women’s Affairs of The Gambia on the margins of the sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), the event was designed to discuss and share information as well as debate thematic issues pertaining to women’s economic and political empowerment.

 

In her keynote speech, Tambajang stressed the need for reliable data and information for the elaboration of gender responsive policies, and strong institutions to advance progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. She noted that Gambia has gone through transformative change and expressed appreciation for the support provided by international organisations including FAO.

 

In her presentation on The Gambia Women’s Empowerment Programme (GAMWEP), Tacko Ndiaye, Senior Officer for Gender, Equality and Rural Development at the FAO Regional Office for Africa, briefed the audience on the rationale and detailed components of the Programme as well as FAO’s contributions to it.

 

Ndiaye explained that the goal of the 5-year project is to contribute to The Gambia’s economic development and growth by improving the livelihoods of approximately 229,500 households by end of the project across all regions of the country.

 

 “Empowering women and youth in agriculture is a low-hanging fruit for achieving food security, nutrition and sustainable development,” noted Ndiaye.

 

GAMWEP is premised on the assumption that when Gambian women and youth have full access to resources, assets, skills, services and economic opportunities, they become a key driving force against rural poverty, hunger and malnutrition, she added.

 

The project is therefore designed to create a conducive environment that will spur women’s active participation in profitable and sustainable agricultural activities. It also aims to provide the poor (especially women) with better access to land and other productive resources and their sustainable management.

 

Multi-pronged approach to empowering rural women in The Gambia

 

GAMWEP is part of FAO’s recent and ongoing interventions in the Agriculture and Natural Resources sector intended to empower rural women in The Gambia.  Through these projects (funded mainly by the EU, Japan, GEF and FAO and closely implemented with government counterparts, FAO and target beneficiary groups) more than 9,000 women received quality inputs, labour saving devices and technical support. They also benefited from a series of trainings  in diverse areas including Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs); improved fishing techniques, fish handling and processing skills, quality control and fish waste management; sustainable forest and natural resources management; integrated pest management in cowpea and horticulture production;  and group management.  

 

A one-year Africa Solidarity Trust Fund (ASTF) funded project entitled Rural Women`s Empowerment in Agriculture Programme (RWEAP) was launched in August 2016 to help reduce rural poverty and enhance food security and nutrition through accelerating rural women’s economic empowerment in the context of sustainable rural development. The project which is a component of the GAMWEP will support the establishment of five feed mills at village level (equipped with grinders and mixers with accessories) and managed by women who will also receive training on feed production and feed mills management and, entrepreneurship. Each mill will have a milling capacity of 2 tonnes per hour.

 

In 2016, FAO in collaboration with ECOWAS, supported the conduct of a country gender assessment of the agriculture and rural sectors in The Gambia. The activity was funded by the FAO-ECOWAS Technical Cooperation Project on “Gender Responsive Regional and National Agricultural Investment Plans for meeting the Zero Hunger Challenge in the ECOWAS region.” The report provides a good baseline to inform the formulation of the second generation of National Agricultural Investment Plan as well as to monitor the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

 

In August 2016, FAO and the Women’s Bureau jointly organised a training workshop on “Gender Mainstreaming for Inclusive Agricultural Growth” in Banjul with the aim of strengthening capacities of Government officials to increase opportunities for women in inclusive agricultural growth and transformation. The training was also aimed at establishing a vibrant community of practice at country level to share experiences and identify good practices in gender mainstreaming in agriculture and natural resource management.

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