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UNFPA Lobbies Support of National Assembly Members to Promote Women’s Health and Well-being Among Others

With over four decades of support to the Government of The Gambia, UNFPA The Gambia Representative, Mr. Kunle Adeniyi and the Country Office team, on Wednesday 6 November 2019, met with the National Assembly Select-Committee on Women, Children, Disaster, Humanitarian Relief and Refugees. The meeting, geared towards strengthening the partnership between the National Assembly and the UNFPA Country Office, was led by the Chairperson of the Select-Committee.

Presiding over the meeting, the Chairperson extended profound gratitude to UNFPA for supporting the committee members benefit from various capacity building opportunities, aimed at preparing them to contribute more meaningfully to the development of the country and in carrying out their functions as lawmakers. He went on to reaffirmed the Committee’s commitment to promoting the rights of women and girls in the country and their unflinching support to the agency in executing its mandate in the country.

“The things we say might not be popular but someone has to do the work with support from all relevant stakeholders.”

These were the opening remarks of the UNFPA Representative as he shared the work of his agency, especially the strides made in the areas of women’s health, protecting the wellbeing of adolescent girls and the empowerment of young people in The Gambia.

Emphasising the interests of the Country Office to the select committee, Mr. Adeniyi reminded the committee members about the need to push for women’s active participation in the National Assembly. According to him,

“The Gambia will not grow out of its circle of poverty if it does not invest in its women, girls and young people.”

He called on the committee to support the achievement of the three zeros and assured them of UNFPA’s continued support and partnership in delivering a Gambia where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Honourable Nyassi, one of the committee members shared his delight with the gathering and called on everyone present to do something about maternal mortality, because the recent recorded rates are alarming.

“As a strong voice for women, I advocate for Family Planning uptake openly in my village because this is a sector of society that needs to be protected and empowered with the right information.” - Honorable Nyassi

Honourable Ndey Yassin Secka Sallah, a strong voice for persons with disabilities and a National Assembly, recognised UNFPA’s work in the country and called for more targeted interventions to support women and girls living with disabilities.

She highlighted that,

“women are vulnerable but women with disability are helpless, which leaves them more vulnerable.”