Thursday, March 10, 2011

Women Rights Activist Appeal to President Jammeh for Audience

President Jammeh
Dr. Touray
The Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP Dr. Isatou Touray has appealed to The Gambian President Professor Dr. Alhagie Yaya Jammeh to grant them an audience to explain their side of the story on Yolocamba agreement.
She was speaking to The Voice in an interview at GAMCOTRAP Head Office at Kanifing on March 8, 2011 marking the hundred year anniversary of International Women Day.

Dr. Touray said women rights activists have not been treated very well, while noting that they have written five letters to President Jammeh proposing for an audience with him but have not received a response so far.
She said “we are calling on the Government of The Gambia to have an alternative ear to hear from women rights activists who feels that their rights have been violated. Dr. Touray and her colleague, Amie Sissoho have been put on trial on charges of theft and the complainant, according to Dr. Touray has been given first hand information to meet  President Jammeh and talk to him.
However, she lamented that they as citizens contributing to national development wanted the president to hear their part of the story but this was not possible.
She said they have contributed a lot to national development, but feels that maybe they’ve been denied an audience with the president because they are activists. “They have brought our partner from another country to come and see the president,” she reiterated.
“We have written to Ministry responsible and to the Office of the President, but still we were not given the chance till we were taken to court for something we do not do, nobody heard our own side of the story, except the court.”
“What question do I have to ask Mr. President? Are you really interested in advancing the cause of women, because you are not giving us the chance to talk to you, we are using this forum to talk to you,” she decry.
“As a citizens working together and supporting your cause in women empowerment, we feel that we should be given the chance to talk to you, it is our right to talk to you about us and the human rights of women in The Gambia.”
She also lamented that the rights of the activists has been violated, papers wrote about it but nothing had been done, then “what is wrong with the relevant Ministry regarding this issue” we are raising this issue because we feel that it is a concern.
On Women’s Day, she said celebrating the hundred year anniversary in The Gambian is a good thing because a lot have been done and women rights activists also play a good role in this achievement so they should not be left behind.
“We are in the second generation of women rights activists and you happen to be the president of that generation, why not give the chance to women rights activists and movements to see you. We wanted to see you, it was blocked, why was it blocked? What have we done? Is it because of the work we are doing or is it people surrounding you who did not want us to see you,” she said.
“I am appealing to you, if you hear this information, please in the interest of the country and the people whose rights have been abuse; give us the chance to have an audience with you.”  
She revealed that Women Rights Activists did not come to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day because they are reflecting on what is happening and want the president to joint them. 
“You have not done anything to us and we did not have anything against you and every thing we do is to complement and support what you are doing in empowering and supporting the cause of women and we are also part of those women,” she stressed.
She noted that they are contributing to what the president have been doing to make the Gambia a better place for women, “we thank you Mr. President for also creating the enabling environment for us because lot have been achieved”.
“It is during your time policies and convention has been put in place through your government’s support for the cause of women and with the support of women’s rights activists who have been pushing the agenda, so we want you to give us audience,” she reiterated.
“We don’t know whether what we are doing is reaching you in the right way or not, but we did not want to be unfair to you or even have anything against you. We have not been given the chance to talk to you that’s why am talking on behalf of GAMCOTRAP and other women rights activists who feels that they have not been treated fairly.” Source - The Voice

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