EU provides 44 Million dalasi for Women’s Rights Projects

The European Union (EU) provides through three programmes implemented by NGOs an overall amount of 813,776 euros (more than 44million dalasi) to improve Women’s rights in The Gambia.

The EU Chargée d’Affaires, Ms Agnѐs Guillaud and Mrs Oumou Tall, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages The Gambia today announced that the project “Women’s Empowerment for Change”, financed by the EU to the tune of 200,000 euros (more than 11 million dalasi), is starting in June 2014 for a 36months’ duration. This initiative is part of EU’s commitment to fighting poverty, including the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, and promoting women’s rights and fundamental freedoms in the context of sustainable development.

Poverty persists in The Gambia, as well as gender inequality as women are still to reach the expected standards in the areas of education, work and access to economic assets. Civil Society Organisations working in the area of women’s empowerment and gender equality in The Gambia are vibrant and often serve as catalyst for change.

The “Women’s Empowerment for Change” project is implemented by SOS Children’s Villages UK, in close partnership with SOS Children’s Villages The Gambia, ChildFund The Gambia, and the Foundation for Research onWomen’s Health, productivity and the Environment (BAFROW). The initiative will target communities of Sintet, Kalagi, Kan Mamadou, Jarrol and Kampassa in Foni Jarrol District with the objective of promoting women’s rights with a particular focus on economic empowerment and reducing violence, including female genital mutilation/cutting.

According to Ms. Oumou Tall, the National Director of SOS Children’s Villages The Gambia, the organisation has been working in similar communities in The Gambia for the past 30 years with the primary goal of ensuring that families and communities are supported to be able to provide quality and sustainable care for their children through the provision of essential services (education, health  and psycho-social support), capacity building  in good parenting (protection, and rights) and in sustainable livelihood (project management, income generating activities and skills development). The project “Women’s Empowerment for Change” will be implemented extensively with the wider communities, since women’s rights can only be assured when they are respected by the community at large.

This intervention is fully aligned with The Gambia’s national strategy since women and children’s rights are a priority of the Government. The EU recognises that Civil Society Organisations are efficient and independent development actors and are committed to promoting a more conducive environment for them to fully play their role in the delivery of social services, advocacy and good governance.