By Maimuna Sey-Jawo
Three women councilor aspirants from different political parties have called on their electorate and fellow female candidates across the country not to bow down to stigmatization or inferiority complex in the coming elections.
Fatou Faye, the National Reconciliation Party (NRP) councilor candidate for Lamin ward, Ndumbeh Sallah Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) candidate for Latrikunda Sabiji and Abi Bangura United Democratic Party (UDP) for Banjulinding Ward, have all opined that stigmatization is one of the issues hindering Gambian women’s participation in politics.
All three spoke to The Standard about the challenges they face since announcing their intention to run and their resolve to push on, no matter what.
According to the NRP’s Fatou Faye, some people said she is too young and therefore too soon for her to take a challenge like councillorship.
But she added that the problems women are facing now are much understood by women themselves and that’s why she took up the challenge. “I believe if we are elected, we will make a difference,” she noted.
She vowed to tackle the lack of market for women horticulturalists in Lamin and surroundings, among other things.
Ndumbeh Sallah of the GDC for Latrikunda Sabiji said she has no complacency and she is in fact very proud to present herself as a candidate.
“We need to develop the new Gambia and since women form the majority in the country, our participation in politics is very much timely,” she said.
“I stand as a candidate so that if I happen to be elected, I will fight for the right of women in my ward. My top priority if elected will be to fix the Latrikunda Sabiji Market, which is always in terrible state especially during rains.”
According to her people’s understanding of women as politicians is very limited and it is high time the taboo is broken.
Abi Bangura of the UDP for Banjulinding Ward said she joined politics to empower women and as well as to develop her ward, which needs good roads, markets, and hospital.
She urged her fellow female candidates not to be intimidated or allow any one to discourage them.