SOURCE: The Point

 For a collaborative approach, the FAO in conjunction with the Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources, and National Assembly Matters on Monday kicked off a capacity-building training of a ‘gender desk’ within the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources of The Gambia.

The meeting, currently underway at the Bakadaji Hotel, Kololi brought different stakeholders from FAO in The Gambia, Gender and Socio-Economic experts from FAO Headquarters in Rome and the regional office in Ghana, Deputy Permanent Secretaries, and staff of the ministry.

Speaking on behalf of Dr. Moshibudi Rampedi, FAO Rep in The Gambia, Ms. Khadija Diallo said the meeting is the final step in the capacity-building process of the Fisheries Gender Desk at the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, supported by the FAO EAF-Nansen Program.

She revealed that the contribution of women and youth to the fisheries sector is often poorly documented. She believes this has resulted in a relatively low capacity of fisheries officers and decision-makers to mainstream gender in the development and, implementation of national fisheries policies and plans.

However, she said, the FAO recognizes that ensuring the equal participation of both men and women is essential in achieving these global goals, and therefore gender mainstreaming is considered cross-cutting in all activity areas of the Organization.

Ms. Diallo indicated that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations is contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through FAO’s Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to a more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agri-food system, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

She stated that the thematic policy statement in The Gambia’s national Gender and Women Empowerment Policy calls on the government to take action to establish gender units in all ministries and departments and allocate resources for effective gender mainstreaming.

She disclosed that FAO Representation in The Gambia remains committed to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.

Declaring the forum open, Mrs. Anna Mbenga Cham, Director of Fisheries at the Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources, and National Assembly Matters, gave a background of the event, recalling that it all began in 2017, with the primary goal of improving the knowledge base for sustainable fisheries management, supporting the ecosystem approach to fisheries management, and building the necessary human organizational capacities for partner countries to manage and exploit the fisheries resources sustainably.

The strategy, she stated, involves mainstreaming gender at all levels of the sector, including management, development, and communication, to ensure equal participation of men and women in fisheries governance.

“The Ministry of Fisheries Water Resources and National Assembly Matters realizing the importance of mainstreaming gender in the management and development of the fisheries sector has incorporated the revised fisheries legislations to address gender social inclusion dimensions in planning, programming, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects and programs of the fisheries sector and is in support of institutionalization of gender, coupled with the collection of gender-disaggregated data, to enable tracking of progress in gender mainstreaming in fisheries policies and operations, as well as the evaluation of gender impacts in poverty alleviation, food, and nutrition security,” she explained.

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