Dr. Isatou Touray is the first woman to run for president in The Gambia’s history and is one of the country’s most respected civic activists with a global reputation of integrity. She is the executive director and co-founder of The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP), which led the campaign to ban the practice of FGM in The Gambia. Dr. Touray is a leading voice against gender-based violence and has worked closely with grassroots activists for decades to advance equality and social justice in her country, often at great personal peril.
Dr. Touray is currently standing as an independent candidate for president and represents the most credible challenge to the Yahya Jammeh dictatorship, which has maintained power in the country for over two decades. Over the course of this time period, The Gambia has become one of the most highly repressive nations on the African continent, a situation that has been marked by widespread crackdowns on civil society and the political opposition, disappearances, numerous deaths in custody of activists and journalists, and a fundamental disregard for basic political rights and civil liberties.
In July 2016, nearly two-dozen members of the United Democratic Party (UDP) were sentenced to prison for “inciting violence” after advocating for much-needed electoral reforms. These recent arrests, as well as the deaths in state custody of at least two opposition supporters this year, has created a profound chilling effect in the lead up to elections, making Dr. Touray’s candidacy all the more groundbreaking and courageous.
The upcoming elections in The Gambia are slated for December 1, 2016.
- Gambia's Leader Vowed to Rule for a Billion Years. A Vote Will Test That (New York Times - November 30)
- Gambia Opposition Coalition Hopeful in Elections (Associated Press - November 29)
- Jailed Gambians Pay the Price for Perceived Disloyalty (AFP - November 27)
- Isatou Touray: 'Who is going to change Gambia, if not us?' (The Guardian - November 13)
- Gambia's First Female Presidential Candidate Joins Historic Coalition (AFP - November 5)
- Isatou Touray: Meet Gambia's First Female Presidential Candidate (International Business Times - October 28)
- Five Questions with Dr. Isatou Touray, Gambia's First Female Presidential Candidate (Council on Foreign Relations - October 27)
- Gambia Opposition Blasts Withdrawal from International Criminal Court (Radio France International - October 26)
- Gambia's First Female Presidential Hopeful Receives Support fromVanguard Africa (SMBC News - October 14)
- Interview with Vanguard Africa Director Jeffrey Smith (Fatu Radio Network - October 18)
- Meet Dr. Isatou Touray, Gambia's First Ever Female Presidential Candidate (The African Exponent - September 17)