Gambian Activists Angrily Protests Against ‘Sexual Violence’

By Bakary Ceesay

 Gambians activists have angrily hold a peaceful procession  on Thursday 4 July, 2019 to express solidarity with former beauty queen, Fatou Jallow, who accused she was raped by former President Yahya Jammeh.

Fatou Jallow, knowns as Toufah revealed that recently during an interview with New York Times, which she claimed that former president Jammeh raped her.

That follows by a three women accused Mr. Melville Robertson Roberts, a senior Gambian diplomat of sexually assault, which he denied any wrong doing.

 This prompted activists from all works of life establish a movement called #IAmToufah protest against the alleged sexual vices.

The protesters chanted slogans and carried signs one of which read ‘No Means No’ as they marched from Africell to Westfield on Thursday.

Speaking to journalists during the protest Jallow added “I am glad Gambian women have embraced it (campaign against sexual violence)… This is a step further to make women feel comfortable to talk about their experiences of sexual harassment,”

Madi Jobarteh, a human rights activist said: “For Toufah to come out, that is so significant and that is what has led to this march because we feel these women need support”

Dr Ismaila Ceesay, a lecturer at University of The Gambia said: “We have to accept that there is a problem in our society, then we can be able to raise awareness and come up with the proper solutions”

According to him, the march is to raise awareness on the issue of sexual violence.

Fatoumatta Njie, national assembly member for Banjul South said: “We just want to show our support, show our utter disgust, show that we condemn rape, [and] show that we will stand against it,”

 On 28 June , 2019 at a press conference organized with several activists and human rights organizations. Jallow was a Gambian beauty queen who won Jammeh’s sponsored beauty pageant in 2014 call the Miss July 22 Beauty Pageant.

 The competition was to avail her opportunity to access a scholarship for further studies but instead, she said the former President Jammeh used his proximity to her within those moments to rape her.

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