The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare has disclosed that experience from past pandemics showed that women and girls are active actors for change, as they experience the effects of the crisis in different ways.
Fatou Kinteh made these remarks on Tuesday during the launch of the Knowledge Activity and Practises (KAP) study on Covid-19 held at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center.
She acknowledged that Covid-19 has affected societies around the world in an unprecedented manner and in different and diverse ways. Minister Kinteh noted that considering how the pandemic affects particular groups would help raise the effectiveness of containment efforts and minimize the potential negative impacts particularly on women and girls and persons with disabilities and vulnerable groups.
The Gender and Children minister observed that the shift in resource allocation towards addressing the public health emergency has disrupted key health services for women and girls, such as reproductive and sexual health services.
“It is evident that there is an increase in both teenage pregnancy among out-of-school girls and maternal mortality due to lack of appropriate resources during the pandemic. Pregnant women are particularly more vulnerable in this context.” She stated.
Globally, she explained that women experience a significant burden on their time and care-given responsibilities as families are compelled to stay at home during the pandemic.“… therefore, exposing them to Gender Based Violence (GBV) and unintended pregnancies among others.” She added.
For his part, Dawda L. Ceesay, permanent secretary at the Office the Vice President, said that after the confirmation of the first case, the government of The Gambia spared no effort in taking a swift action to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The efforts of the Ministry of Health, he added, has helped a lot in containing the number of positive cases to a very low rate in the country.
He added; “In an economy that is highly dependent on tourism, trade and agriculture, many people lost their jobs and incomes, business has gone bankrupt, food insecurity has increased and many have missed out on essential health care services including public health programs such as vaccinations as well as maternal and child health care activities.” he state