By Landing Ceesay
The National Water and Electrical Company (NAWEC) launched a Gender Policy aimed at making the Company an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace.
Speaking at the event, Hon. Fatou Kinteh, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare said the policy would no doubt break the barriers that have for years been associated with women in STEM careers.
“The said policy which seeks to address the unequal gender disparity in the energy sector by increasing the percentage of women in technical areas complements our work as Ministry of Gender and Social Welfare to encourage women’s full participation and leadership across all sectors in the Gambia. We must remember that Gender Mainstreaming, as a highlight in policy is mandated by the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action as a strategic approach for achieving gender equality and Women’s empowerment,” Minister Kinteh said.
Mr. Ousman Muhammad Cham, Chairman Board of Directors of NAWEC said Gender Policy is part of our reform agenda to make NAWEC a better place of all staff. For the Board the issue of gender is not only about women but a relationship issue.
Mr. Cham said the NAWEC Board approving the Gender policy is deeply rooted in their courage of conviction in search of operational excellence.
“The policy serves as our guide to ensure that an enabling environment exists as part of our management culture to motivate staff by giving them the assurance that nothing blocks anyone from giving their best to the company. The Board continues to review other policies in other critical sectors in NAWEC to provide the kind of services we are expected to provide to the Gambian people,” Mr. Cham said.
Nani Juwara, the Managing Director of NAWEC said a scholarship programme was developed supporting 40 girls and women advancing their technical studies to be among the future engineers and technicians developing the country and contributing to a sustainable and reliable electricity and water supply.
“There are many misconceptions around gender and these have a direct impact on our perceptions of what gender policy is and why it is relevant. I want to be clear that gender is not only about women. Gender is not some conception we have imported from another. Gender is about identifying and tackling inequalities between specific groups, making sure that everyone, man or woman can fulfill their potential. And that is why gender is relevant for NAWEC, to ensure that every employee, partner, service provider and client can benefit and expand its opportunities,” Nani Juwara, Managing Director said.
Meanwhile, Momodou Dampha, Chairman of NAWEC Gender Committee said the policy will provide the perfect framework for gender equality and gender mainstreaming in NAWEC’s business operations and activities with its internal and external stakeholders.
“The Policy is therefore applicable to employees, consultants, volunteers, partners and third-party service,” Mr. Dampha said.
The event took place earlier today at NAWEC Headquarters in Kanifing.