President Barrow Marks International Women’s Day with Meeting Women and Other Development Partners

President Adama Barrow marked International Women’s
Day by meeting with the Maa Foundation, Women in Business Advocacy Group, a South
Korean delegation, and the outgoing country representative of the World Health Organization
(WHO), Dr Desta Tiruneh, at State House in Banjul. The meeting was held to celebrate and
recognise the contributions of women in various fields.

The discussions centred on promoting more opportunities for women and girls. President Barrow
expressed commitment to promoting gender equity and equality in all matters of national
development for economic, political and social achievement.

Maa Foundation advocates for policy, legislative and social change to support women and
marginalised groups. Fatoumata Jawara, the CEO of Maa Foundation, appealed to the
government to review the procurement procedures to increase opportunities for women in

Mrs Emily Sarr, a delegation member, expressed gratitude for the widening of opportunities for
women. She, however, appealed to the President and his Government to consider 30%
affirmative action in procurement. “With the current enrolment of girls in the educational sector,
I am convinced that we will get to the 30% quota at the governance and decision-making level”,
President Barrow reassured.

The President also expressed satisfaction with the increasing involvement of women in business
enterprises and other sectors. “I was impressed meeting a female contractor and her engineer
daughter whose work progress was ahead of schedule in their road construction contract”, he

Over the years, President Barrow’s Administration has been working with dedicated partners,
both international and local communities, to increase access to health care, including
reproductive health care, expand economic opportunities for women and girls, support women in
agriculture, most especially in the area of rice and groundnut cultivation to reduce the high
dependency on imported rice in the country as well as increased farmers’ income.
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The Gambia has made significant strides in improving its healthcare sector, particularly in
reducing maternal mortality rates. Dr. Desta Tiruneh, the outgoing country representative of
WHO, expressed his appreciation to the Government of The Gambia for their remarkable
achievements in strengthening healthcare systems. The country has made progress in areas such
as its immunisation programme, which protects children from infectious diseases, and tobacco
control, leading to increased revenue, an oxygen plant, and a significant reduction in maternal
mortality. This progress is a testament to the government's commitment to improving the
healthcare system in the country.

Additionally, the South Korean delegation headed by Ambassador Chong-weon Shin discussed
with President Barrow strategies to increase rice production since it is the staple food for the
majority of Gambians. The delegation was accompanied by Muhammed Jah of Q-Group, a South
Korean consul in The Gambia and the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Demba Sabally.
Many women are involved in rice cultivation than in any other livelihood activity in The
Gambia. Hence, the government deem it necessary to continue promoting the establishment of
rice cultivation complexes to improve rice seed production and supply systems throughout the
country. “Rice is a national issue. We have to stand on our feet and produce enough food,”
President Barrow said