Ministry of Women Affairs, Children and the Elderly
Reliable reports close to the State House has disclosed to Gainako that President Barrow is set to create a new cabinet position to be named; Ministry of ‘Women Affairs, Children and the Elderly’. The news that reached Gainako Sunday evening indicated that a memo has already been written by the State House and is likely to be released for the creation of this new position in the form of a press release.
Readers may recalled that President Barrow came under heavy criticism both within and outside the Gambia including the International Community when he unceremoniously removed Aja Fatoumata Tambajang as Vice President who was also responsible for overseeing women affairs. Barrow in what was seen as a political stunt reshuffled his cabinet and appointed Mr. Ousainou Darboe leader of the United Democratic Party as the new Vice President and minister of women affairs. Many gender activists decried the move and some went to the level of alerting international gender activists of the unpopular move to appoint a man in charge of women affairs. The outcry mainly relates to the lack of gender representation and equal treatment of women in positions of higher office. The President was criticized for reducing women in his cabinet at a time when other nations are making history in appointing record number of women to higher positions.
Not exactly knowing how to explain his unpopular move to gender activists, the Gambian president has decided to mitigate the circumstances by creating a new ministry of Women Affairs which will also include overseeing Children and elderly affairs the source added. Gainako’s further investigation into the breaking news indicated that Mrs Aja Fatoumata Tambajang is likely to bounce back as the minister occupying such a position. President Barrow’s move to remove Mrs Tambajang raised a lot of eye brows and was seen as betrayal of the woman who was one of the main architects of the coalition that landed him in office.
It could be noted that Mrs Tambajang resigned from the Barrow government when she was redeployed to the foreign services. She reportedly did that in protest of her unceremonious removal. A source close to the former VP indicated that Mrs. Tambajang felt disappointed and betrayed by a President who she helped guide in making decisions in his first few months as President. To calm the situation and satisfy his critics, the President is creating this new cabinet position to once again accommodate a mistake he made similar to the age limit when he appointed Mrs. Tambajang.
This move to expand cabinet and by default the government is likely to generate further outcry for many Gambians who believe in a smaller and more lean government. Many already believes that Gambia has too many ministries and therefore government resources are wasted and it becomes more inefficient as a result. Gainako was not able to confirm if Aja Fatoumata Tambajang would accept the position or not. Certainly being the minister of women affairs is more appealing than her demotion from VP to a serving diplomat. This is a developing story and Gainako will update our readers as the information is likely to be released Monday or during the course of the week. Stay tuned!