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City of Banjul
Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Letters: Women’s issues; front and center

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Dear editor,

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In reaction to Ms Fatou Kah, Gambians are not unique in accepting without evidence, or denying without proof, accusations of rape.

But, it’s more complicated in our society as it’s not defined in law and its culturally permissable, in its silence.

The concept of rape and pedophelia are new to many of us; values learnt through our exposure to Western culture.

Underage marriage is still rampant in Gambia, and each year many school girls drop-out due to pregnancy.

In our culture, a man cannot rape their wife, because the claim is the wife is property of her husband, but Western culture is using a different standard, when the wife doesn’t feel like doing it.

My idea is; even though it will meet stiff resistance from Islamic clerics and supporters, I think it’s about time these are legislated into law; a law that can be broadened to ban underage marriage.

The victims of these acts are many, and cut across tribe, as are the perpetrators, coming from senior government officers, farmers, to ordinary school teachers.

In addition, promuscusity is also rampant, some of it due to poverty, or it’s cultural, and it’s estimated that nearly a quarter of children, as not their fathers’ offsprings. In the US, the age of consent varies from 16 to 18 years.

What is consent in one state, is statuary rape in another state.

As for this girl in UK, it wasn’t uncommon for ladies to falsely use ‘rape’ to apply for asylum during Yahya Jammeh’s time.

I don’t deny it offhand, but my sense is she’d have told someone, anyone, at the material time it happened.
Mathew Jallow

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