Former Gambian Beauty Queen Fatou Jallow's Movement Against Sexual Assault Gains Traction
After publicly accusing former President Yahya Jammeh of rape, young women under the #IamToufah banner are standing against sexual assault in the country.
A few months ago, former Gambian beauty queen Fatou 'Toufah' Jallowpublicly accused former President Yahya Jammeh of rape. The 23-year-old alleged that Jammeh had raped her following her refusal of his marriage proposal during his time in office back in 2015. Under the leadership of current President Adama Barrow, The Gambian government established the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) which is now investigating human rights violations during Jammeh's tenure. Jallow, who is testifying at the commission, has spurred a movement where young women are taking a stand against sexual assault in the country under the #IamToufah banner.
In a 5-hour long testimony at the TRRC, Jallow said that, "I know a lot of people will find it difficult to believe what I have said, when you live in a culture whereby you believe that women should be quiet." She added that, "It's a culture where you have to keep secrets, that's the culture that I come from."
Jallow has been the subject of backlash on social media. She says that her family's safety has been threatened to the point where they have had to acquire security personnel. In addition, many have attempted to discredit Jallow's story by claiming she "doesn't fit the profile of a victim"—whatever that even means.
However, Jallow has many supporters rallying for her:
Courageous testimony from Fatou Jallow abt sexual abuse perpetrated by ex-President of #Gambia Jammeh. Her testimo… https://t.co/YdDbbCjCEy— Aïssa Boodhoo-Leegsma (@Aïssa Boodhoo-Leegsma) 1572953438.0
My support to my younger sister Fatou Jallow Toufah #IamToufah #StopSexualAbuses #TheAffair #HRW… https://t.co/E4yhTEobNf— Abda Wone (@Abda Wone) 1572885636.0
The strength and power that #IAmToufah has! She truly represents everything that makes us uncomfortable about survi… https://t.co/kZq9mNx4qw— Jaaba (@Jaaba) 1572544358.0
No Means No!! We can’t say more than this! Stop the sexual violence and assault! The only reason a person got rap… https://t.co/GnuDlXghVV— Juka Juka👸🏾🇸🇳🇬🇲 (@Juka Juka👸🏾🇸🇳🇬🇲) 1562245740.0
It stops now, it stops with us! #SurvivingMelville #IAmToufah #MeToo https://t.co/t1MHUHnSHu— patriarchy free us (@patriarchy free us) 1562237979.0
We joined the march against sexual violence, in support and solidarity with all survivors. We also shared a stateme… https://t.co/SAZlUL40WJ— Think Young Women (@Think Young Women) 1562245605.0