‘We’re No Longer Keeping Quiet’

By Abdoulie John

One of the Gambia’s leading women’s rights activists has said that the time to keep silent about sexual violence is over. Sirra Ndow is determined that sex abusers will now be exposed.

“We want to bring the issue of sexual violence upfront and make sure that people are aware of what is happening,” she said.

Sirra Ndow was among hundreds of Gambians who stormed Kairaba Avenue last Thursday, calling for an end to rape and other forms of sexual abuses women are confronted with. She even delivered a powerful speech at the Youth Monument and called out renowned activist-turned-Vice-President, Dr. Isatou Touray, for failing to show up for the march past.

She said time is ripe for perpetrators of sexual assault to be brought to justice.

“We’ve started and we will not stop,” she added, sending warning to recalcitrants.

Since Human Rights Watch (HRW) broke out the story of Yahya Jammeh’s alleged rape victims, more women are overcoming their trauma and have since started telling their story.

Sirra Ndow said that Gambian women’s activists have come a long way since 2007 when they began internationalising the plight of Gambian women.

She unveiled the website (speakupgambia.com) that has become a platform for victims of sexual violence.

Ndow has reacted to the wave of rape deniers that continue to throw shade on victims. She has downplayed their impact saying they are simply on denial.

“This is a real problem. We know it is real and we will continue to ignore the critics,” Sirra Ndow said vigorously.


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