“If you want to get a baby”

Gambian president says tight clothes make women infertile

Yahya Jammeh, President of the Republic of the Gambia. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Congrats to our least favorite guy of the week, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh Babili!

At a speaking engagement in Banjul, the 50-year-old president of The Gambia made a number of comments while addressing the nation’s women regarding who they choose to marry, their style of dress, and the preference of those who practice skin bleaching (which has been banned in The Gambia since 1994, but remains popular among women who are said to be influenced by western beauty ideals). “You often backbite me by saying that Yahya Jammeh wants light skin[ned] women,” he said, according to a translation from RT. “Many a time, you will try to attract me sexually by walking pass me during public functions. I know all what you have been saying behind my back. You don’t have to bleach your skin to attract me. I love black beauty.”

News flash to Jammeh: Women don’t exist just for you. The president also blamed Gambia’s declining birth rate on the style choice of women, calling skinny jeans and underwear “alien.”

“You don’t have to wear tight trousers and underwear to attract me,” said Jammeh. “How can you conceive, when you are dressed in tight trousers and underwear? You must change your dress style if you want to get a baby.” The declining birth rate in The Gambia has actually been attributed to women’s increased access to education, contraception and a decline in child marriages, so “it is no surprise that the hand-wringers over fertility decline are usually men,” writes The New York Times.

Jammeh is not known for his tendency to to mince words. In May of this year, a translation from Vice News reported that during a public speech, Jammeh told homosexuals, “If you do it [in The Gambia], I will slit your throat – if you are a man and want to marry another man in this country and we catch you, no one will ever set eyes on you again, and no white person can do anything about it.”

He did in November ban female genital mutilation, claiming Islam did not require the procedure, which 76 percent of women The Gambia have had. Jammeh has been in office since 1996.

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