The convergence, held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center brought together officials from UNFPA and other top senior government officials.
The new UNFPA Strategic Plan 2022-2025, officials said, is expected to be ambitious, building on the momentum from the 25th anniversary of the international conference on population and development in 2019, the midterm review, strong evaluation evidence, and the lessons learnt and ways countries are adapting in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in support of building forward better.
The development of the strategic plan premised on the fact that the UNFPA and her partners already know what works, where and why, and how as a collective can transform the lives of women and girls.
Kunle Adeniyi, the UNFPA country representative said: “This strategic plan will be the second of three strategic plans that will lead to the sustainable development goal 2030. Therefore, their major objectives are to ensure that they meet their three transformative results which are to end all preventable maternal death, to end unmet family planning which continues to grow rapidly around the world and to end all forms of gender based violence across the world including all harmful practices.”
This, he went on, is an important issue that we need to talk about in the country. “These are issues we are dealing with and we continue to deal with,” he added, saying that “The Gambia remains very important in these issues.”
The absence of family planning, the UNFPA Country representative said, is about 20% to 25%, while gender based violence continues to be highlighted in our societies.
Commenting on the issue of the deeply rooted cultural traditional practice-dubbed Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), he added that The Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBOS) has come out with data indicating that about 46% of our girls are cut before their fifth birthday.
The Gambia, he explained, can achieve these three transformative results in demography and working with groups of young people, people with disabilities and women with a view to ensuring that sexual and reproductive health rights are accessed and fulfilled.
He further claimed that this will end gender based violence in our communities, ensure that maternal mortality is reduced and also advance the cause and rise of women.