10 October 2010



The winner of Miss University of The Gambia Beauty Pageant and the new face of the Gambia TeleCommunication Company (GAMTEL), Teneng Gitteh, has stated that she would use the status and popularity accorded her by the award to promote the cause of women and children in The Gambia in particular and Africa in general.
She revealed this in an exclusive interview with Pageant Newsblog held at the Law Faculty Building in Kanifing. She added that her decision was informed by the "pathetic state of women and children" in most African countries, which needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency to put Africa firmly on the path to Progress and Prosperity.
"I have observed that women and children are not getting the support they deserve and should have. Diligent research has shown that women, despite limited opportunities, continue to produce more than Fifty Percent of food in Africa. This is despite the fact that many have been denied land ownership, basic Education and sent into forced marriages at tender ages, especially in rural areas. And children are sent to so-called Arabic schools, where they are forced to beg for the benefit of their master".
This, she submitted, is grossly unacceptable because there should be equal opportunities for all, as enshrined in the constitution regardless of Political affliation, gender, ethnicity or religion.
"It is sad to note that African women have not been, in most countries, seen as partners in efforts to develop our Continent but as child bearers and house-maids. African women can do better than this and play a greater role in our societies than they have been allowed. The "sexual objectification" of the African woman should stop and it requires the efforts of all and everybody to be achieved. I know it is a long haul but we can achieve it."
She continued that there has been some progress over the years, with more girls getting access to education, thanks in no small way to the intervention of President Jammeh with the President Empowerment for Girl Education programme(PEGEP).
The enrolment of girls in different Programmes at the University of The Gambia, she noted, will go a far way in preparing them to take advantage of the opportunities accorded them and prove that they could do as well as their male counter-parts in their chosen careers.

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