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Interview with lawyer Sagarr Jahateh

Dec 3, 2010, 2:08 PM | Article By: Isatou Senghore

SHE SHE SHE  had an encounter with one of the country’s most promising female lawyers in which she shared some pertinent issues with us. Sagarr Cecilia Thomas Jahateh, a private legal practitioner, advises female youths to be focused and determined. Please read:

SHE SHE SHE: Can you share your educational background with us?

Sagarr: I attended St Joseph Ex-pupils nursery and primary; from there I went to St Joseph High School in Banjul. I did my O' level in England for two years at a college called New College in Cardiff. I then went to the University of Buckingham in England to study law.

From there I came back to The Gambia and worked with the Attorney General Chambers for almost a year as a public prosecutor in the criminal division and I was also a volunteer at the Child Rights Unit at the same department. I later went and do my bar in Sierra Leone for one year and then returned to the country and joined the practice of Antouman A.B. Gaye for three years.

From there, I became a private legal practioner and I also volunteer myself in organizations that deal with human right work.

SHE SHE SHE: What are the names of these organizations?

Sagarr: Well, I am the secretary of the Female Lawyers Association of The Gambia (FLAG) and the Chairperson of the Legal Aid Committee which provides free legal aid services for women and children whose rights have been violated.

SHE SHE SHE: Apart from these do you work for any other organization?

Sagarr: Yes, I am also a member of the rule of law and advocacy committee of the Gambia Bar Association which deals with human rights issues and provides legal aid to persons whose rights have been violated.

I am an executive member and legal adviser of the gender action team and other organizations, associations and boards in my personal capacity as a lawyer and I do a lot of bonus work for people who are being charged with capital offence and other offences, especially women and children.

SHE SHE SHE: What are the challenges that you face in your profession as a woman?

Sagarr: My profession is challenging and it is a demand hard work. It is difficult to balance with my family life but is a work that I have dedicated and devoted to and I make time for it because it is interesting. Also, I like helping people who are in need of help, and it is very rewarding and satisfying because I use my legal expertise and experience to protect people and make their life better, and I get a real sense of what I do.

SHE SHE SHE: What advice do you have for the young girls who are willing to join this job?

Sagarr: They should be focused. They have to work hard to achieve their dreams and they must look to a good role model that they can emulate, and keep friends who have similar aspirations. They should always seek advice from experienced people who can guide them, because what helped me to achieve the little so far is because I have a big role model in my life. When I was growing up I look up to my grandmother called Haririet Ndow, proprietor of Ndow's School. She was one of first feminists that I knew and she was hardworking, dedicated and devoted to education and was helping young people to develop their potential.

She has been contributing very well to national development, especially in the area of education and is honest and was a very good principal. So, with these and many other qualities in her, I decided to emulate her.

SHE SHE SHE: Thank you for your time.

Sagarr: It's my pleasure.