Gambia’s Minister of Women’s Affairs has expressed her happiness in the appointments of several women in the new cabinet of President Adama Barrow.
Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang was speaking on Thursday, March 9, during the swearing in ceremony of the second batch of ministers in the new Cabinet which she is part of. The ceremony also witnessed the swearing in of the new Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service and Secretary to Cabinet as well as a dozen permanent secretaries.
According to her, they still need more women in the Cabinet and other decision making positions.
“I am happy and proud to see more women in the Cabinet. I am happy you gave me the challenge to help you balance the Cabinet. We need more women in Cabinet and more in decision making positions. My passion has always been the advancement of women and girls because they account for more than 50 per cent of our population. They are the most productive people who live from dawn to dust and yet they need a decent living” she said.
According to her, women still need freedom and they need to participate in decisions affecting their lives and families, adding that her passion and commitment under the leadership of President Barrow will be to facilitate these processes.
Madam Tambajang who is also overseeing the position of the Vice President said they have launched a number of initiatives in line with the upcoming Constitution and they want to be part of that Constitution as women.
“We will encourage that the Constitution provides a 30 percent quota or at least 40-50 percent for women to be part of the development process. Women are productive assets, women are human and social capital, women have triple roles to play in the development process. They are our mothers, they produce us, they are the back bone of our economy, they are the producers of human services, and they are community workers. They fixed the family when it’s broken” she narrated.
According to her, women have played a key role in this change for new Gambia saying they have been behind the scene. “They have been in the forefront. They have advocated for change. They have demonstrated change and change has happened” she said.
Minister Jallow-Tambajang encouraged ministers to establish competent gender focal points in their various Ministries and institutions especially key planning institutions that will help in mainstreaming the priorities of women so that they can qualify from the informal sector to the formal sector.
“You cannot balance the macro-economic framework if the productive and reproductive work of women is not included in national accounting system. You will have a good legacy if the productive and social work of women is accounted for in the national accounting system. We should include budget for women to work productively” she urged them.
The Women’s Affairs Minister assured President Barrow that the women sworn-in will not let him down saying ‘If they fail I fail, if they decrease I fail. My passion and success is to have more women in every sector of the economy and have more resources for women to work, to have more financial and moral support for women’.
She saluted President Barrow for being gender sensitive saying she has observed that women in this country are in the forefront of the new government’s agenda and that they will not let the president down.