By Mustapha S Koli
The delegation of the European Union to The Gambia led by Enya Braun on Wednesday 8th February, 2023 paid a courtesy call on the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare.
The purpose of their visit was to collaborate and support the ministry in its quest to fight Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Sexual harassment and related menaces in the Country.
The activity is part of efforts to support the Government of the Gambia to implement its commitments in its White Paper on the recommendations of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commissions (TRRC).
Saikou K Sanyang, The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare welcomed the team and assured of the ministry’s unflinching support towards the success of their mission.
He posited that in Gender and Development Programme Interventions and strategies should be robust, and inclusive and responsive, in order to meet the holistic needs and welfare of the people. Gender and development the missing one single facet will make gender mainstreaming crumble.
The women are the most affected in Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and therefore the need to make justice accessible and affordable to them.
This he said, should facilitate efforts for the victims to partake in the formulation and the decision-making process. If people are not sentenced, perpetrators will continue to violate the rights of Women and Girls thus compounding efforts to address Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and Violence Against Women (VAW)..
Enya Braun, Programme Manager on Governance Cooperation noted that, their work includes to collaborate and support the ministry in areas of social protection, sexual and Gender-based violence and human rights and provide analytical support operations to the ministry.
We want to support the government for the implementation of the TRRC white paper, she said.
Jankoba Jabbi, Director, Department of Social Welfare at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare noted that each of the regions should have a shelter for children and elderly, noting that currently we have only Bakoteh Shelter that is accommodating children and other vulnerable groups. The administration of justice should be accelerated so that the victims of gender-based violence are punished.
Deputy Permanent Secretary, Madam Noami Williams on her part, appealed to the delegation to be gender-sensitive in addressing the needs of Women Victims of violence highlighted within the TRRC.
Mustapha S Koli from the Directorate of Policy Development, Strategic Planning and Reporting dilated on the different needs of Men and Women and urged the team to prioritize in terms of support to the Women Victims as well as employ enough Police Gender and Child Welfare Officers across the country.