By Femi Peters (The Gambia) – African Development Bank’s senior gender specialist, MS Gisela Geisler is in the Gambia to conduct Gender Based Profiling.Shortly after meeting The Vice President and minister of Women’s Affairs, Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy at State House in Banjul yesterday, MS Gisela Geisler and delegation would be traveling upcountry to start the profiling activities.
The plans to conduct a gender profile of The Gambia by The ADB gender officials was the main issue dissolve at State House with VP and their willingness to attend the Womens Federtion to be launched in the Gambia very soon.This exercise is geared towards their work for gender equality in the country. The ADB senior gender specialist indicated the banks interest in The Gambia as the bank has been involved in many projects in the country like the women development projects and the community skills training projects. These projects as reporteed as helped bring up the level of skills acquisation of women as well as increase their rights.
Quoting Ms Gisela Geislar as she said: “It is always something to do and we hope this gender profile will help the government fill some of the gaps between the policies on one level and what happens on the ground on the other.”
The ADB gender specialist stated the ADB hopes to improve the situation of The Gambia with regards to women’s empowerment; and to use the gender profile in pointing out gaps that can be solved by the government, by other donors and perhaps also by the ADB.
She however briefly stated that another important issue discussed with VP Njie-Saidy was the possibility of ADB’s assistance to the country for the next census, so as to integrate gender equality in a better way in the questionnaires as well as in the analysis of the census. She finally added that there might be a possibility of funding the Gambia as a small country and it will be very appropriate to use as a pilot to that kind of work as a unique opportunity to gather more data and many opportunities to gain good data are lost.The ADB also have projects in the Statistics Department dealing with gender data and gender statistics.