Father David Jimoh Jarju, also a development expert, said he could foresee that a woman would one day be president of The Gambia. He, however, said he could not predict the exact time a woman would lead the country.
“The sex does not matter much with me, as long as that person is able to deliver and move the country forward,” he exclusively told The Standard on the sidelines of a forum making World Women’s Day held at his school.
He added: “I am sure [having a female president] is a possibility. I see some women who are quite capable. Obviously, you have the vice president who has been so stable for so many years. I foresee it, but the timing is something I cannot predict.”
The school master said empowering women would contribute to the development of the country. He noted that women should have increased participation in political decision-making positions.
“The person who feels it knows better,” he said, adding: “Some of us will keep guessing, but if the women themselves are in key decision-making positions, they will be able to decide for the good of women themselves.
“The way men see things is sometimes different from the way women see things. Sometimes you may look at things in a straight line; they may look at it in a round way.”
Jarju, however, urged the womenfolk to stop standing in the way of women who dare to challenge men in politics.
He said: “Women talk and talk and talk, but when it comes to action, they can be their own enemies. A woman can get up and say I want to contest election. Her fellow women would tell her all what is negative about her, and she can be a bit discouraged.
“So, it is left for the women to come out themselves. If they come forward, I think they will be chosen. Let them stop talking and dancing and do something. They have to be brave to stand for positions. The possibilities are there.
“If politics is meant for the good of society, anybody going in, a man or woman, should know that you are going there to give your service for the common good, not necessarily for a big name, not necessarily to be recognised in society or status.”
Jarjue warned against filling positions with women just for the sake of gender considerations. He said positions should match holders’ competencies.
“I would want to think that whereas in the process of choosing people, there are cultural and social factors, also you have to pick up somebody who is capable. I don’t believe in just balancing the male female equation for the sake of it. We must have capable men and women.”]]>