She publicly accused Gambia's ex_freckle removal belfast

She publicly accused Gambia's ex-dictator of rape, sparking a MeToo wave thereFatou Jallow was 18 years old when she alleges she was raped by former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh. She details the incident and how she used her experience to empower other sexual assault survivors in her memoir.

Social Sharing

Fatou Jallow reflects on how going public about 2014 incident changed her and her country in new memoir

CBC Radio(Human Rights Watch)

"I thought I had [the option to say no]. That's why I said, 'Oh, no, I don't want to get married now,'" she said. "But in that type of situation and dictatorship, you really just don't — something I came to learn later."

In a 2019 statement to The New York Times, Jammeh's party called the rape allegations by Jallow and two other women a smear campaign "aimed at tarnishing the good reputation of Gambia's legendary and visionary leader."

But in December, a Gambian Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) recommended that Jammeh be prosecuted for human rights violations including murder, torture and rape committed during his reign.

"After these very powerful, public testimonies that really impacted Gambians, there is a strong expectation, both at home and abroad, that the [Gambian] government will deliver justice, including criminal trials," human rights lawyer Reed Brody, who directed the Human Rights Watch investigation that first published Jallow's testimony, told The Current.

"The devil will be in the details ... but I think the movement towards justice has reached a point of no return."

  • This Toronto woman says a Gambian dictator raped her. Now she's fighting for justice

Jallow, who fled to Senegal and then Toronto to escape the sexual abuse, details her story in her memoir,Toufah: The Woman Who Inspired an African MeToo Movement. 

She hopes her the details of her story will help other African women stand up to their own abusers. 

What it has done for women is to say, 'Oh, if we can talk about the dictator... no one is above the law.-Fatou Jallow

"When he was raping me, the idea was to take power away from me, was to demean me, was to make me realize that I am nobody and I have no voice or no say," she said. 

"So … to have a book and just have people read it and resonate it … that's a lot. He doesn't have a book. I have a book [and] that's cool."

An African MeToo movement

2017 saw the breakthrough of the MeToo movement, after multiple allegations of sexual assault and rape were made against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. But the term was first coined by Tarana Burke in 2006.

"I'm trying to tell survivors that Me Too is first and foremost for us. We look at each other to say, 'Oh, that happened to you, it happened to me too,'" Burke told The Current last year.

"We empower each other ... and then it's a declaration to the world."

WATCH | Tarana Burke 'all over the place emotionally' as MeToo went viral

Tarana Burke coined ‘Me Too’ years before it went viral

7 months agoDuration 3:39As the Me Too movement went viral with the help of survivors in Hollywood, Burke worried that the people she wanted to help would be forgotten.FULL EPISODE: The Current for March 25, 2022


top 10