Tanji Seaside Women Calls for an End to Harassment
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Tanji Seaside women fish vendors have called to an end what they described as constant harassment meted on to them by men at the Seaside after they have unanimously agreed that they would no more tolerate any form of intimidation but would rather work with them in the development of the area and the country at large.
Speaking to Musulolula Bantaba, Wednesday August 1, the Kombo South Coastal women noted that their main intention was to contribute their part in the development of the country as women are genuine partners in any development.
The lady president, Mba-Mansey Sonko, opined that they have been suffering a lot from the hands of the men at the seaside as they have not been given enough space to sell their fish, which they bought at a high price, noting that once they were deprived from a better place to sell their fish, it would indeed ruin their businesses.
“Moving us from place to place is not the solution because we need to have a place that is accessible so that our customers will not encounter any problems,” she said.
She further stated that since women constitute a larger portion in the country, their empowerment should not be frustrated by anyone as they play a vital role in the promotion and the upkeep of their respective families and communities.
“We want to see President Jammeh Eye-to- Eye because he values the empowerment of Gambian women at a higher height in order for him to intervene. Apart from the president, we also want to meet with reliable partners such as Action Aid The Gambia, FAO and others to come to our aid as we are presently encountering lot of intimidation at the seaside. Also another important issue is the lack of a better market for the women to sell their fish, so we are appealing to our partners in development and even individuals to come to our aid to construct a reliable market for us. If we are also provided with a safe drinking water and another ice plant facility, at the seaside, we will be very delight,” she explained.
Fatou Mulong Faye, who has been in the fish business for decades said that their state of affairs was tormenting, maintaining that the men fish vendors were really disturbing them.She said that their grounds to seek a consultation with the president were not to put anyone into dilemma but rather to highlight their problems.
“We are all die-heart supporters of the president and the APRC but we are not yet opportune enough to meet with him and discuss issues affecting us at the seaside. We want to meet the president because he always wants to promote and protect the rights of women especially those in sectors that promotes national development,” she said.
Neneh Conateh, Vice President of the association said that her association has 66 registered members who are all committed to the development of the country’s fishing industry.She appeals to the president and partners to provide them with the adult literacy classes in order to acquire knowledge since they were not lucky to undergo any formal education. “We are very positive that once we meet with the president, our issues will be address which will bring additional empowerment to us,” She said.
Mama Sanyang and Njie Saine all appealed to the security officers at the sea to protect them from harassment. “We also want the president to help us with equipment and a Frico vehicle in order to strengthen our business because we are ready to show to the whole world that women fish vendors of Tanji are very committed and willing to complement the efforts of the government in the area of fishing,” they said.
Bintou Suwaneh, NACCUG Secretary, who chaired the meeting, described it as timely and essential, noting that, their voices would be heard since they have been neglected for quite a while.
She also called on the membership to redouble their efforts in contributing towards the socio economic development of the country.
Author: Alieu Darboe