By Binta Jaiteh
Fatou Kinteh, Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Welfare (MOGCSW) has said that the establishment of her Ministry has culminated in the formulation and implementation of the National Strategy and Policy on Female Genital Mutilation and cutting ( FGM/C) 2021-2030.
She made the statement at a press conference where she updated the media on the 83rd session of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
She further revealed that in 2019 the Gambia registered one of the highest commitments for addressing gender equality and women empowerment and the National Action Plan on United Nations Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, Persons with Disability Act 2020, the Women Enterprise Fund Act 2020 and the Ministry’s Strategic and Investment Plan 2021-2025.
“Additionally, the Gender and Women Empowerment Policy 2023-2033 and the National Children’s Policy are both currently being revised to include a thematic area on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence including Genital Mutilation (FGM and Child Marriage,” she added.
According to her the delegation also addressed issues about discriminatory laws against women in which they highlighted that the Ministry of Justice between 2019 and 2021 led a comprehensive review and harmonization of all existing legislation with a particular focus on laws intended to stifle freedom of expression, discriminatory laws against women and children amongst others.
She stated that some of these laws that are adhered to religion and customary laws include the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the Civil Marriages (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the Married Women’s Property (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the Gambia Nationality and Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2020,theWomen’s(Amendment) Bill, 2020.
She also said that she updated the committee on women’s economic empowerment in the Gambia by looking at the Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) which is a flagship project of the National Development Plan 2018-2021.
“The loan under the WEP provides access to low-interest credit for women entrepreneurs with a group guarantee model in micro-credit adding that from December 2020 to date over D23, 000,000 has been disbursed by the government to more than 38,550 women from 257 groups across the country,” she explained.