By Nelson Manneh
Talib Ahmed Bensouda, the Lord Mayor of the Kanifing Municipal Council, has disclosed that KMC’s Nominated Councillor for Women Bineh Marong, will lead the establishment of a D100 million fund for the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs within the Municipality.
Mayor Bensouda said this initiative is one way that Council is assisting to alleviate the financial constraints of women and help them become financially independent. The Mayor of KMC made the statements on Tuesday 1st December 2020, during the launching of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
“Another important initiative is the development of solar-powered cold storage facilities for women vendors. In partnership with the British High Commission, Council has launched the first solar-powered cold storage for women vendors for the storage of their vegetables at the Serrekunda market. Councillor Marong is leading KMC’s efforts to replicate the initiative in other markets throughout the Municipality,” he said.
Mayor Bensouda said economic empowerment is one way in which they can empower women and make strides towards ending gender-based violence in their communities.
“By listening to the voices of young women and girls who are affected by GBV, I believe that we as a society can re-define what is socially acceptable, while still upholding pride in our traditions and culture,” he said.
“We all have a role to play in protecting the most vulnerable and to change what is socially acceptable in our communities. As an active by-stander, we can play important roles in ending gender-based violence within KMC,” he said; noting that gender based violence disproportionately affects young women and girls, he pointed out that as leaders, ‘‘we need to find innovative ways to alleviate the social and economic burdens carried by young women and girls.”
Mayor Bensouda said financial stress is one of the contributing factors to GBV in our communities; that KMC as the steward of public markets within the Municipality, is working towards enhancing economic opportunities for women, through enhanced market facilities and improved sanitation; that by enhancing market facilities, the KMC believes women will have more resilient livelihoods to navigate future financial emergencies and that KMC is ready to work hand in glove with women, to end Gender Based Violence in The Gambia.
He said Council appreciates the continued partnership of the United Nations and UNFPA; that together they can eliminate Gender Based Violence.