The co-founder of Gambia Women's Lives Matter, Matida Bojang has rubbished Health Minister Dr Samateh's allegations that they are opposition supporters hiding behind activism.
Speaking at a political meeting in the West Coast Region, the health minister claimed the group's activities are political. He accused some of their members of being opposition sympathizers.
"Gambian Women's Lives Matter is utterly disappointed by the statement made by him accusing the group of having a political agenda. We strongly dispute these claim and would like to remind the health minister that Gambian Women's Lives Matter is a non-political and nonpartisan organization solely dedicated to the wellbeing of Gambian women, irrespective of their political affiliation," said Matida.
The US-based medical student continued: "Dr. Samateh's statement is not only politically motivated but highly insensitive to the plight of the hundreds of Gambian women that died and continue to die during childbirth."
According to Matida, since they formed their organisation a year ago, more than 200 women have died as a result of childbirth or complications from childbirth.
"Contrary to his claims, all these women and their families take it upon themselves to contact Gambian Women's Lives Matter to share the stories of their loved ones and seek our support, and we are always at their service.
" Additionally, we open fundraisers for the babies that are left behind. We are not making millions from these fundraisers. In fact, most of the time, the money comes from our own pockets, which we do not mind. In the past, we made several attempts to work with Dr. Samateh, but each time, he showed little interest and deemed us as being a political organization without getting to know what we do. Like any other organization, each of our members has their own political views as it is their right. However, these views do not translate to our views as an organization.
"We are highly disappointed that a health minister will characterize a legitimate cause for women as political for reasons best known to him. We will continue to stand by women and their families because their lives really matter, and Gambian women deserve better. Gambian Women’s Lives Matter team."