The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Breaking down barriers for women in The Gambia
In line with our commitment to women’s empowerment, UNOPS is encouraging more women to work in the construction industry as part of a road infrastructure project in The Gambia.
Nearly 200 women were recruited to be part of a construction team working on a labour-based feeder roads project in the country.
“Thank you UNOPS for bringing to life one of my lifelong ambitions to have Gambian women in every field of endeavour. We have never had women working on road construction sites before and UNOPS has shown us that it is possible,” said the Vice President of The Gambia, Dr. Isatou Touray.
Implemented by UNOPS with funding from the European Union, and in collaboration with the National Roads Authority and Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, 104 kilometres of rural roads in the Upper River, North Bank and Central River regions are being rehabilitated to improve access to markets and socio-economic facilities for some of the most vulnerable populations in the country.
“Women’s empowerment and closing the gender inequality gap is a key priority for UNOPS – within the organization and in the projects that we implement,” said UNOPS Regional Director for Africa, Honoré Dainhi, on a recent visit to the project with the Ambassador of the European Union to The Gambia, Attila Lajos.
The labour-based project employs a team comprising more than 60 per cent women, providing valuable skills that can open up new career opportunities and improve their livelihoods.
“In my community, we have always believed road construction to be for men only, so we were surprised when UNOPS offered us the opportunity to work on this project,” said Fatou Sanneh, from Alkali Kunda in the North Bank region of the country.
“I would like to continue in this work – maybe one day I will become a supervisor or road engineer,” she added.