Gambia: Leaders Pledge More Empowerment for Women After Meeting Veep

Officials of the National Women's Council Wednesday met the vice president and Women's Affairs minister with its leaders pledging to empower the women folk for the development of the country. They made the pledge in an interview with the State House press corps shortly after emerging from a meeting with Her Excellency Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy, who was briefed on the Council's activities.

"We want to help Gambian women to take full charge of the country's agricultural products by processing them," Women's Bureau executive director, Binta Jammeh-Sidibeh, vowed Feb.12 at State House.

She also said their visit was meant to renew their allegiance and support to President Jammeh, his government and the entire ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC).

The Women's Bureau chief informed that they discussed with Dr. Njie-Saidy issues relating to term limits of the executive committee of the National Women's Council, indicating that the mandate of the current members is due for expiration next year. The vice chairperson of the National Women's Council, Fatou S. Trawally-Jobarteh, described the meeting as successful, saying their target now is to give more empowerment to women in order for them to realise their potentials and contribute to national development.

The deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Fatou Mbaye, affirmed that one of their discussions was centered on the term limits of the Council's executive. She indicated that the current executive took office in May 2008, with a previous three-year mandate prescription. She however stated that now the Women Act has given a five-year term limit to an executive committee, which explains the reason why the incumbent has been in office until now. Present at the meeting were the ministers of Agriculture and Youth and Sports, Solomon Owens and Alieu K Jammeh respectively, as well as other government officials.

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