Thursday, 8 March 2018

Gambia Women Don’t Need Recognition They Have Earned It..

In the early days women were seen as wives who were intended to cook, clean and take care of the kids. They were not allowed to vote while men took care of having jobs and paying any bills that had to be paid. Soon enough it caught on that women should have a bigger role than what other people thought women should have. They faced discrimination like and other race that faced it.

Men have a tendency to leave their wives due to the fact that they had their child and the father was not committed enough or not ready to be a “father.” Women are faced with more responsibility than men but also are faced with a lot more problems than men because they look a woman as a bearer of children. It is a fact that men shouldn’t abuse their wives and its true, but they still are. Abortion is also another problem that women are faced with. Women are sometimes not ready to be a mother and their husbands or boyfriends have already left them. Men usually just walk away from the situation but women have to choose to either have the baby or have it “aborted”.

Fatoumatta Tambajang

Today women are playing important role in all spheres of life. They are no longer confined within the four walls of their parents’ or husbands house. They have come out of the kitchens and are working hand in hand with men in all the development programs of the government. By receiving higher education they are becoming pilots, presidents, doctors, engineers, hospitality professionals, teachers, administrators etc. They have been able to prove their worth. They not only do their household work but also work outside of their houses. They are contributing much to the economy of the country. Now it has come to the realization of the men that true development of a country is not possible keeping half of the population idle at home. So it needs no telling that women are playing a great role in the socioeconomic development of our country.

I discovered my life was 87% positively impacted by women. My full-time parent I learnt most from (Mom) my teachers right from kindergarten to university (8/10 have been female) all my advocacy campaigns were 74% women dominated. My most dedicated organization and company staff 70% are women, most loyal customers too are women. My line manager is a woman, “cool manager’s by the way.

My entire life has been impacted by these bold women and I never stopped to think twice of them, all we do think about is the strong men just as society and culture dictates.

Women are in every aspect of our lives, right from bottom to top. We can just keep ignoring their efforts even when they do less to seek recognition of the great works they do or we could do things differently. At work we are blind to the injustices they go through in the hands of our colleagues; the sexual harassment, reduced to blackmail of either the job or her body for sex. We converse about it in a joking manner not knowing how oppressing it is, we don’t think of that woman being our sister or wife. We are silent when all the men are promoted yet she works selflessly and tirelessly only to see others being promoted as she is left on her desk with a claim she is a “woman” or that she is “perfect for her current job”.

 Jaka Dukureh, FGM, Activist

In our social circles we no longer (as before) condemn women to the kitchen but our reaction when a woman says, “I don’t know how to cook” Or “I don’t know a particular house chore” is clear indication. We have just modernized how we condemn women, how we reduce them to the house hold and being wives. Today when a woman decides to study beyond a man, earn a higher salary than him or even get a higher promotion than him we still get intimidated as if it is an issue.  Our media mutely speaks about the success of women. They are only evoked to do so due to international pressure, women are hired by media houses just because they either look good or have a good voice. Yet all women are beautiful if given the chance they can make a huge impact and difference.

When I just started working, my friend Musa told me, “Jarjou, don’t be afraid to work with women”. They are the most dedicated, loyal, hardworking and committed people.” He was right, I had men as part of my team; they have come and gone, but the women I worked with at the start I still work with them, I’m secure they won’t disappoint me. All my female bosses as I worked with them they aimed at empowering me. I will give one example Zainab Jallow, the Director General of Food Safety and Quality Authority of The Gambia, “she hired me when I did not even believe in myself, no matter how many mistakes I made, she chose to look beyond that, finished my contract a refined, empowered and experienced staff” She made it her duty to ensure I have a fall back plan. Today, I run my own organization who does that? Not many men at least.

Therefore, we need to amplify women voices out there, no matter how small their contribution is to society. The teachers, mothers, cooks, civil servants, leaders and more. Regardless of whom they are married to background looks and more. Women are the most vital part of our society structure and are to be celebrated. Every day I choose to celebrate the women in my life, past and time to come. I choose to see you as bold women who changed my life. Let’s believe in more women out there, be bold for change, and don’t hold back for we are all equal. Happy Women’s Day!

Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Political Activist

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