Her Excellency the First Lady Madam Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow on 8th October 2021, inaugurated the Women Empowerment and Peacebuilding Initiative in Mansajang Kunda, Basse. The Centre is the first of its kind in the Country and is set to train and equip women with skills that will enhance their capacities to produce quality reusable climate-friendly sanitary pads for women and young girls.
The centre will provide employment opportunities for women and value chain actors as well as improve their abilities to meet livelihood needs through lifelong skills that will elevate their economic status.
The aim of the project is to achieve universal reproductive health for all.
Speaking at the ceremony First Lady Bah-Barrow thanked the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Welfare, the UNFPA, the Network Against Gender-Based Violence(NGBV) and all partners for coming up with such a centre to support her initiatives to end ‘period poverty’ and the stigma associated with menstrual hygiene in The Gambia.
‘’In low- and middle-income countries, practising good menstrual hygiene is a difficult task for women and girls due to various reasons’’, misinformation thrives because menstruation is considered as a taboo” she said.
The First Lady assured the partners of her office’s continued support and commitment to the safety of women and girls, “ I want to assure you all that the Office of the First Lady will give all the support necessary for the realisation of this great initiative and other women empowerment programmes in the country” said Madam Bah-Barrow.
Other speakers during the ceremony included the Honorable Minister for Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Fatou Kinteh, the Governor of URR, Mr Samba Bah and the UNFPA Country Representative Mr Kunle Adeniyi, all of whom elaborated on the importance of the initiative and its benefits to the women of Mansajang Kunda, and its surrounding communities.