The empowerment of women in a male dominated society like the Gambia is always subject to debate as well as touch nerves. But a renowned gender activist wants the society to remove all obstacles or barriers to women’s empowerment.
Matida Daffeh, the Coordinator of Girls’ Agenda, told the International Women’s Right Day celebrations at Kartong in Kombo South that “the empowerment of women is a necessity for the betterment of our homes and communities.”
Gender equality is a concept that is often misunderstood or misinterpreted, which is why Matida said “equality between us (male and female) doesn’t necessarily mean that we must all do the exact household jobs in shifts. We should rather care, support, encourage and understand each other in the upbringing of our families.”
The outstanding activist wanted couples to maintain love, respect and understanding in homes instead of quarrels.
Matida’s message resonated with young girls and women as evidenced in their applauds.
The inspirational gender activist also used the occasion to appeal to parents to provide equal education to both girls and boys. She believed both sexes should be allowed to attend school up to university level. The central focus of her message is to that girls must not be denied higher education using early marriage as an excuse.
A Kartong youth activist was in support of Matida’s message. Bai Matarr Sanyang has even gone further to question why women of his coastal village have been denied decision making powers, even on issues that directly affect them.
Matarr was not at ease with young girls competing each other on fashion, which according to him, had left its mark on the society. “Some dress code of our sisters and aunties simply invite rape, which is a serious cause for concern,” Sanyang said, advising young girls to concentrate on working towards achieving their career goals.