Hydara who broke the glass ceiling to become the first female governor in The Gambia stated: “The president is saying the country belongs to all of us and as a result, he has seen the need to break through this male dominance by giving positions to women especially at the regional level. Under his administration, women can be appointed as traditional rulers because they hardly fail in whatever position is given to them. We always advocate for an all-inclusive society and do not like to own up things to ourselves. Women’s empowerment in The Gambia also stems from the fact that women have been consistently supporting the president. As governor of the West Coast Region, I have gained respect from all my male colleagues because it is based on the authority of the president that women are appointed to leadership positions. I also have the backing and support of traditional rulers [chiefs] not only in my region but all other regions in the country.”
Madam Hydara described as “biased”, statements that women are weak when it comes to leadership and reiterated the need for them to remain steadfast and strong in whatever they are doing. She said it was important for women to be given equal opportunities as men in order to make the world a better place.
“Women need to be prominent in all aspects of life including politics. It is true that traditional rulers are more into culture but this is good for our identification. Culture simply identifies who we are as a people. Under President Jammeh’s administration, a woman can be anything and the fact that he has appointed the first female vice president shows his rational way of thinking in making a difference. He chooses people whose integrity cannot be doubted and can make an impression in society. During the last International Women’s Day, I said the sky was not only the limit but also the starting point with regard to President Jammeh’s vision and empowerment for Gambian women. It is because of him that women enjoy greater respect in the country and have been given the opportunity to partake in the development process. If we are given the opportunity, we will do better.”
Governor Hydara, a community development expert, predicts the appointment of a female as a district headchief (seyfo).]]>