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On November 27 2018, UNFPA The Gambia Representative, Kunle Adeniyi spoke at a panel on Championing Gender Equality as part of the Women’s Leadership Forum. Organised by Bridging Gaps Advisory, with support from UNFPA, the forum brought together over 200 hundred participants, mostly women from diverse backgrounds and age groups, given the need for regular conversations among women on issues of relevance to their advancement.

This year’s forum, the second of its kind, involved a lineup of accomplished and experienced speakers across a wide range of sectors to speak on relevant topics needed for sustainable progress, including:

  • Women in Governance
  • Women Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Championing Gender Equality
  • Rising Talents among Gambian Women

These panel discussions, created room for dialogue and conversations on promoting gender responsiveness, where men and women CEO’s discuss innovative ways to achieving gender quality through various platforms and with different opportunities.

The climax of the forum, was the panel on Championing Gender Equality, which involved UNFPA Country Representative, Kunle Adeniyi, Executive Director of the Women’s Bureau, Mrs. Fanta Bai Secka, Chief Executive Officer of the Standard Chartered Bank, Mr. Olukorede Adenowo and Mrs. Beatrice Mboge, from the Forum for African Women Educationalists, Gambia Chapter (FAWEGAM). 

Speaking at the panel, UNFPA Representative, Kunle Adeniyi, stressed the importance of school completion for girls, as enrolment rates are usually high, while completion rates are very low. According to him, gender equality is not about lip service but rather about actively doing what is right, adding that the discrepancies in society’s treatment of men and women are intentional and stereotypical and stem from intellectual indoctrination. These could be addressed however, he added, by instilling in children and young people, the understanding of partnership and support between men and women and the need to leave no one behind in all aspects of development.

On her part, the Executive Director of the Women’s Bureau highlighted the major issues faced by Gambian women including educational and economical challenges, as well as abuse, neglect and incest. She also stressed the need for affirmative action for women in government and public offices, in order to increase women’s participation in decision-making processes, especially in the constitutional reform process.

Mr. Adenowo from the Standard Chartered Bank, re-echoed the same sentiments by pointing out some of the key steps his institution has taken to ensure fair treatment in the workplace and equal pay for equal work as strategies for achieving gender equality as a whole.

During the forum, young women entrepreneurs were given an opportunity to exhibit their products, network with other women and build solid relations. The 2nd edition of the Leading Women’s Magazine, capturing the stories of prominent Gambian women making giant strides and contributing to the country’s growth, was launched as the tail end of the forum.


For more information, contact:
Haddy Jonga
Programme Analyst, Communication
UNFPA The Gambia
Tel: +220 3303073