Suntou Bolonba Touray
Kibaaro News is proud to be associated with Gambian women of substance. We are equally delighted about the participation of these women in the struggle for democracy, justice and fairness in the Gambia. These are the real progressive forces whose only goal is to see a free Gambia where people go to bed knowing fully that they will not be victimized by the powers-that-be.
The death of former British Prime Minister had aroused the adulation and condemnation from across political divides in Britain. With all the controversy Margaret Thatcher generated during her lifetime, what no one can deny is the woman’s ability to do what men can do. The likes of the Iron Lady rocked the boat and ended up shaking the society.
It is on this spirit that our formidable Gambian women have been and are still rubbing shoulders with men to put a halt to madness in our country. Their defiant role in the stream of human right activism speaks for itself. Since women are standing tall for justice, we deem it necessary to give them what they deserve best: our support, respect and approval.
As a matter of fact, women of substance and strong personality have and will always look attractive in the eyes of men. This was evidenced in the case of Margaret Thatcher, who most commentators believed, won the admiration of people across all political divides mainly because of her “dedication and strong personality.” To other men, she appeared sexy to a male dominated profession.
Similarly, Kibaaro News came across whispers and murmurs within the Gambian male fraternity. They too tend to find our few notable women in the struggle “very attractive and admirable.” We do not see this as anything bad. However, we want pundits and observers to see our sisters in different arenas of human rights struggle as equal participants whose sexuality has no bearings on their efforts to see more progressive and inclusive Gambia filled with strong female voices.
The beautiful Gambian women who are determined play their part in the human rights struggle must be seen beyond their “glamour and good looks.” They are simply women on a fruitful mission.
Our elegant sisters: Fatou Jaw Manneh, Neneh Bojang-Touray, Sarahata Jabbi-Dibba, Ndey Tapha Sosseh, Jainaba Bah-Jallow, Mprez Jah, Fatou Sagnia, Eyesha Jeng, Dr Isatou Touray, Amie Bojang-Sissoho, Sigga Jagne, Ndey Jobarteh and many others have in-dept personal commitments to sow the seeds for generations yet-to-be born to reap comfortable enjoy the ripped fruits. They will surely leave an indelible ink in Gambian history, for these people see themselves beyond beauty and glamour typified by Fatou Camara of GRTS [Gambia Radio and Television Services]. Rather they are determined to stand up for justice and equal rights for all.
Some Gambian women choose to focus the fight to abolish harmful traditional practices. Amie Bojang-Sissoho and Dr. Aisatou Touray have become national symbols in this arena. These women pillars have endured everything under the hot sun but have never budged an inch. Who then says women cannot wither the storm?
The challenge for our women folk is to diversify their struggle to make a better living for all. In that regard, we should encourage more Gambian women to be active all-round. For instance, they should be involved in the fight against detention without regard to the due process of the law, which women are also victims of in Yahya Jammeh’s Gambia.
Though extremists will say otherwise, but both our Gambian culture and Islam create room for women to fight for progress and justice. Islam has many formidable women who shaped the religion and history from the very beginning. The notion that women should take a backseat, which later surfaced out of the blues, only succeeded in painting a negative picture of Islam. This nemesis continues to haunt Muslim societies across the world.
Women’s right to education was a prophetic call emphasized by Allah’s Messenger. Muhammed said “acquiring of knowledge is an obligation on both men and women.” He went further to say that “educating a woman is like educating a whole nation.” In fact, the late Oustass Omar Bun Jeng put it right when he said, “the reason some women go against certain Islamic teachings is because women education was neglected in the religious sphere. Therefore, people cannot value what they know not.”
Kibaaro News will urge more Gambian women participation in our political struggle, which will galvanize the match towards seeing a stronger democratic Gambia. We equally call for honorable admiration of our beautiful sisters since it is God himself who created Beauty. We are oblige to first respect our sisters and give them the credit the deserve. As a male, I see no contradiction between a positive strong women personality and the everyday effort they belabor to look great. Go forth sisters and help bring back our lost sanity to the Gambian public space. The case is now ours entirely.
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