“These men have messed up our politics; they have not been firm in their decision to get rid of the dictatorial regime,” an opposition activist of the United Democratic Party (UDP) told Kairo Radio’s Talking Point.
Maimuna Ceesay-Darboe, also the Editor of Gender and Women’s Affairs at Kairo News/Radio, squarely blames Gambian men for their failure to be committed to removing the Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction party (APRC) from power. She said apart from failing to vote massively, Gambian men are in the habit of harassing their wives for lining up at election centers. “Gambian men don’t vote – only 25 percent of them vote do. Most of the voters are women but these women have often been harassed by their husbands for not cooking on time on election day.”
Mrs. Ceesay-Darboe, formerly the President of UDP Women’s Youth and a founder member of the party, said majority of Gambian men’s failure to vote has kept President Yahya Jammeh in power for so long. “If men voted the way should, Jammeh will never get his deposit let alone win,” she stressed.
At a past political rally in Bundung, Maimuna advised women “to steal the voter’s cards of their husbands and siblings if they suspected them of being the ruling party sympathisers. If they can’t vote for the opposition, they must not be allowed to vote for the APRC,” she said, saying “of late, only men switch political allegiance from the opposition to the APRC. Let men get out of women’s way when it comes politics because we are the victims of any bad system,” she said.
Mrs. Ceesay-Darboe was among women who were persecuted for their opposition activism. She however kudos to the likes of Tata Camara, Sarjo Kunjang, Aja Jambanding, Mariam Denton and others for sacrificing everything, including their lives, for their country.
“Some of these women died in the process but had never relented in their determination to change through democratic means. If these women can go to that length, then I see no reason why Gambian men should tell their wives to refrain from taking part in politics. We cannot better our live in this world and the hereafter if our country is in shambles. Sometimes I wonder what benefit strong illiterate women will reap in a new Gambia. Clearly, I am proud of UDP women who have throughout demonstrated their bravery. When the need arises, these women will fire gun more than men.”