Differently abled persons accuse gov’t of discrimination 

Oct 11, 2021, 11:41 AM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

Adama Jammeh, chairperson of The Gambia Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GADHOH) - Female Wing, Banjul Branch, who is also a model, says they feel they have been discriminated against due to their disability.

GADHOH was invited to participate in Africa Miss Beauty Pageant held in Tanzania from 26th September to 2nd October 2021, but when they wrote letters to various ministries and departments including the Office of the President for sponsorship, their request were not granted.

She said this was their fifth invitation yet they have never participated in the competition due to lack of assistance.

Jammeh explained that when the invitation came, they sent requests to several ministries and departments including Office of the President, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, National Center for Arts and Culture, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, National Youth Council, among others, seeking support but they deliberately ignored their request.

She observed that the Senegalese government supported four of their deaf female models to participate in the competition.

“It is important that persons with disabilities are considered when such opportunities arise but we are not valued which is why we are not also supported,” she stated, adding, they have seen the government supporting other people participating in other competitions using the Gambia’s name but not persons with disabilities.

“People should not be discriminated due to their disability. We maybe deaf and dumb but we have brains,” she argued, adding that they have been discriminated against for far too long and it should end now.

“We are Gambians and should be considered and valued because we have rights,” she further said, adding there is a Disability Act in place which the president has assented to.

“We are Gambians and have been paying taxes. We need to start benefiting from the national cake,” said Adama, a university graduate.

“I am surprised, The Gambia government supports national teams easily, but always neglects persons with disabilities,” she said, while calling on the government to support and look into their affairs.

She highlighted that they face numerous challenges in the country ranging from economic, social acceptance and discrimination among others, and need to be considered and prioritised as Gambians.

She, however, commended the National Youth Council for their efforts in trying to support one of them to attend the competition.

She particularly blamed Vice President Dr. Isatou Touray for forgetting about them after making “sweet promises” to them during her campaign.