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First Lady: Women should own and manage land
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First Lady: Women should own and manage land

The First Lady of the Republic of The Gambia, Her Excellency Madam Zineb Yahya Jammeh, said women should own and manage land and be allowed to contribute meaningfully to the economy.

In a speech read on her behalf by Fatou Mass Jobe at the joint commemoration of World Food Day, October 16 and Rural Women's Day, October 15, in Basse on Friday, Madam Jammeh urged local authorities to provide land for women to carry out agricultural activities.

She said:“The issue of giving rural women better access to land should be given priority, and here I wish to enlist the support and understanding of local government authorities such as governors, chiefs and alkalos.

“Since rural women work the land in the form of vegetable gardens and rice and maize fields, they should also be given every opportunity to own and manage land. This will help to increase their productivity, which will be translated into more food available for our citizenry… I am happy to say that rural women have continued to be the veritable bread baskets for our communities, who grow, nature, harvest and distribute grain, vegetables and other foodstuffs to our communities.

“Thus rural women are important, may be the most important, key link in the food supply chain of our people. This fact we recognise and applaud. We should also set ourselves targets and aims to achieve in our quest for food self-sufficient and the empowerment of rural women.”

The First Lady added: “Moreover, rural women should be given priority in allocation of farm input ranging from healthy seeds and fertiliser. In some cases, if the men have access to such, it is assumed that their wives or sister would also be covered. But this is not always the case. If men farmers have access to inputs, women farmers too should have access to inputs, and on even more friendly terms than men farmers,”

She also appealed to the Office of the Vice President and Minister of Women's Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Local Government and others to help women gain access to milling machines and health and environmentally friendly cooking fuel to ease the burden of toil. 


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