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9067 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2006 :  14:48:32  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message
Today is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women.
My warmest greetings to all the mothers, sisters, aunts and daughers on this international day for women. I take the opportunity to thank sisters like the late Satang Jobarteh, Sister Amie Sillah and many others in their efforts for better conditions for our women.

Its three years (february 24th. 2003) since the passing away of the late Satang Jobarteh who was a charismatic and visionary leader. The following is a tribute to her from one of the teachers at the institution she established.

I have never met her but had the honour of speaking to her on phone and several exchanges of e-mails and she even sent me two copies of her book "Socio - Political Strides of Gambian Women". May her soul rest in perfect peace (ameen).



A person may be measured by his or her talents while he or she lives and by his or her friends when he or she dies. The great multitude who had assembled on Tuesday 25 February 2003 to pay final respect to Satang Jobarteh was the most dramatic tribute that a people can give to a beloved and departed one. We had all known for some time that Satang was gravely ill, but few of us could contemplate her death. It appeared that she was almost too much with us to consider that there would come a time when she would say farewell.

Her voice was an omni-potent cry in a patriarchal society. Her sharp features, majestic eyes and charming beauty are vivid etchings on the landscape of our minds. Satang was an experienced, dynamic and charismatic lady who has left an indelible mystical footprint in the sands of time. Such a woman cannot be erased from the mind. She was an epitome of the collective consciousness of women emancipation. Even with the final rites been long conducted on her remains, Satang will still be a vital part of the gender consciousness of this nation.

Her voice penetrated the mind with a central message that was universally understood. Her message was a protest against gender injustice, a comfort to the opressed, a search for peaceful co-existence and a cry for hope. Hers was not a message confined to our little nation alone, rather it was a universal message for all nations. Teaming with people both at home and abroad to address gender disparity, she said: "the human race is a network in which the single action of one individual has the capacity of affecting all, hence the need for partnership in the human kind for a peaceful co-existence".

That is why her audience was universal because she spoke for all voiceless women worldwide through her diverse numerous contributions as either panelist, participant or resource person in several workshops both at home and abroad. These include: the Post World Summit Goals for Sustainable Development from a Gender Perspective; Post Johannesburg Summit; Poverty Reduction; WIPNET conference; Mamacash Women's THINK TANK; ADB/NGO consultation Forum; Gender Mainstreaming and Monitoring; WANEP Peace Building; Validation of the CEDAW; AMWA Leadership Training; ACCS/ECA steering committee meeting; Civic Society Workshop on the Lome Convention; Action Aid Community Gender Sensitization Programmes; and the monthly UN Forums to name but a few.

She was born forty-three years ago in the small "island town of Jangjangburreh" in the Central River Division of The Gambia. She schooled there and later moved to the Greater Banjul Area in the Kombo St. Mary Division. In her childhood days, Satang was greatly admired for her truthfulness,friendliness, respect for elders and her out-spokenness in calling a spade a spade. One family member who grew up with Satang had this to say about her: "Whenever there was a quarrel between father and mother, the young Satang was seen as the innocent lamb who always prevail on her parents to restore peace in the family. She was the peace-broker in the home. The innate interest in peace and love for humanity demonstrated by my cousin (Satang) as a child, clearly distinguished her from the rest of her peers as the young beauty became distinctly ear-marked for greatness". She was married with two children, a boy (whom she lost at infancy) and a girl (who is currently pursuing her studies in the United Kingdom).

Satang first came to public attention with The Gambia National Archives and Save the Children- (U.S.) respectively where she served as a dedicated and hardworking employee. But it was her raw talents, self-descipline and sheer perseverance that transported her from an employee to become an employer with SIMMA Vocation Training Institute. An organisation she founded in 1991 with the aim to improve the economic and social prospects of females by providing them with information, skills and increased access to resources for self-reliance.

The institution, which has become the legacy of her life operates on five thematic areas providing counseling services, advocate for women's rights, and raising public awareness on gender concepts. On Education and Skills Training, the institute, since its establisment, has been providing a two-year intensive training in vocational, secretarial and computer courses leading up to the Pitman's Qualification Exams. This year alone, a hundred students graduated from the institute with an eighty-five percent pass rate.
The institute also conducts workshops in various communities for women's groups, youths and community members on women's rights, gender education, women in politics and peace building.

The unequal division of labour, abuse of women's rights, the under-representation of women in positions of power which limits their
participation in policy formulation are practices not in conformity with both ratified Human Rights instruments and the National Laws. This forms the basis for the Sensitization and Awareness Raising Campaign of SIMMA. Customs and traditions used as justification for such practices are challenged and their legitimacy questioned through article writing and during SIMMA's social mobilization forums for informed choices and decision. SIMMA's various sensitization workshops for opinion leaders, women's groups and youths to raise awareness on gender concepts and the need for recognition of women as partners in development had contributed immensely towards increased female representation in politics.

On its Advocacy and Counseling front, SIMMA has been an Advocate for the ratification of the Matrimonial Bill as the customary law is at the disadvantage of women. Counseling services are rendered to girls and young women who report to the centre for advice or assistance. These include victims of forced marriage, early marriage, domestic violence as well as victims of divoced. A research on the significant contributions of women in leadership conducted by SIMMA led to the publication of a handbook entitled: "Socio-Political Strides of Gambian Women" which is widely circulated to the National Archives and Library, National Museum, NGOs, etc.

On Capacity Building, SIMMA seeks to strengthen the participation of women in the socio-economic development of their respective areas. It provides publicity for exposure of women's products to earn them markets and good prices; training in food preservation and storage; and diversification and lobby for the recognition of their valuable contributions.

SIMMA over the years has slowly but surely gained status and recognition nationwide. Today, SIMMA is a member of the Gender Experts Network recently launched by the Vice President of The Gambia; a member of the Association of Non-overnmental Organisation (TANGO); a Registered Charity approved to operate as a training centre by the Department of State for Education; a Board Member for the Trust Fund for Girls, the Education Advisory Council, Gambia Youth Trust, and the Agency for the Development of Women and Children.

Satang has left behind more than a legacy of her life. She has bequeathed to us the message of her life that with hardwork and self-descipline, there is an open road to success. In her career, she was aided by many people, some of them fellow activists and co-workers. They! played a wonderful supporting role in her life which sustained and guided her to greater heights in her activism career. Her success of course is SIMMA's success.

However, despite her glories, Satang had nothing personal for herself. Apart from what a student once described as her "smoky old car", Satang had no personal assets of value one cou!ld boast of. She owned nothing. She collected nothing. Everything that flowed towards her flowed through her and out to other people. Due to too much of compassion for humanity, she couldn't keep anything for herself because someone else needed it. She needed nothing. She gave everything, up to her last breath. She live her entire life giving away to bring smiles and joys to the lives of many.
Giving, giving and giving.

Completing the 2002 Annual Report of SIMMA from her sick bed, the late founder and Directress had this to say about the future of SIMMA: "when matured, SIMMA Resource Centre will be able to serve as a base for addressing women's concerns. Until we are able to realise this dream, we will continue to strive. Our strength lies in the commitment we h!ave to make a difference in the lives of the voiceless and disadvantaged females.
Our unique needs and concerns are numerous and genuine for urgent consideration. It is either we address them now or we continue to neglect and exploit them, which means condemning future generations of females to repeating cycles of inequality and poverty. We hope you will continue to support projects addressing women's needs and concerns as priority areas in the years to come".

We will, Satang, we will. Rest In Peace. Adieu.

By Mr. Sheriff Bah English Teacher SIMMA Vocational Training Institute
Bundung, Serrekunda

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone


United Kingdom
912 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2006 :  19:04:36  Show Profile Send sab a Private Message
Thank you Momodou for your posting of Satang Jobarteh R.I.P. The commitment and devotion this lady showed came from within and not something she was taught. Satang must have been a dreadful loss to the Gambian society. How do you take over the reign's from someone like this? I cannot think of a more fitting posting to put on the internet this International Women's Day. Freedom & peace...

The world would be a poorer place if it was peopled by children whose parents risked nothing in the cause of social justice, for fear of personal loss. (Joe Slovo - African revolutionary)
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3485 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2006 :  19:13:54  Show Profile  Visit Dalton1's Homepage Send Dalton1 a Private Message
RIP to the two Jobatehs !!

I almost confused the situation with the other late Mrs. Jobateh, ex-wife to Kunkung Jobateh of the education department, actually from Bansang, and was a teacher at S/K primary school. "Mrs", as we fondly called her, and today an equal missed gap to a woman like the one described above. It is very sad, though her legacy continue to represent her, but only the shadow of her soul departed. Good people have legacies, and only their shadows disappear physically, but that their spirit remains the legacy they left behind.

While every soul is temporal {kul li nafsin eja ekatul mawt-every soul shall test of death (Al-quran)}, but that such happenings in life are very well undeserved, this to say the least is destined "destiny", at the tears of beneficiaries. Though, i don't know much about this woman, but i humbly implore on Almighty God to show mercy to her soul, like all the other believers that departed.

Such good and unpolluted societal catalysts are worth remembering, especially a woman of our time, when the culture in which we prevail is at adverse gender equality, sometimes.

"The good die young.", 2pac A Shakur. While Satang rested, but that any prayers from the believers, will get to her, and a way of adjustment on her scale of good rewards.

Allahumma ikfir laha- may Almighty show mercy to both of the two departed souls...ameen.

RIP to the two Mrs.Jobatehs, since picture shown above proves it to be two people !! ameen...

"There is no god but Allah (SWT); and Muhammad (SAW)is His last messenger." shahadah. Fear & Worship Allah (SWT) Alone! (:

Edited by - Dalton1 on 08 Mar 2006 19:59:23
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334 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2006 :  19:42:10  Show Profile Send kassma a Private Message
hey, Momodou, do you know where on the internet i can buy the book: Socio - Political Strides of Gambian Women?
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9067 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2006 :  19:53:21  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message
Originally posted by kassma

hey, Momodou, do you know where on the internet i can buy the book: Socio - Political Strides of Gambian Women?

I doubt if if you can buy it from the Internet because the book was published locally. I think you should be able to buy it in bookshops in The Gambia or directly from SIMMA.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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