Dr. Isatou Touray is the current Gambian Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, the first woman to occupy this portfolio in the political history of The Republic of The Gambia. Prior to this, she was the Executive Director of the Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP), a national and international leader in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
In an unprecedented move in 2016, she declared her candidacy for the office of the President of the Republic of The Gambia, garnering tremendous support for her role in breaking the gender glass ceiling in Gambian presidential politics, later joining a coalition of 7 political parties to form a united front that brought an end to the 22 year rule of former president Yahya Jammeh.
Dr. Touray continues to play a vital role, in the current administration of President Adama Barrow, bringing her expertise in development and grass root activism to create employment opportunities for Gambians.
Prior to her involvement in national politics, Dr. Touray was a leader in the field of women and development and was instrumental in spearheading the grassroots movement to end Female Genital Mutilation in the country, and on the African sub-continent at large. She served as Secretary General and Board member of the Inter African Committee (IAC) – a Pan African Network on the elimination of Harmful Traditional Practices with a membership of over 28 African countries; and is also a founder of the Gender Unit of the Management Development Institute of The Gambia where she introduced a Diploma in Gender and Development which she coordinated for over 15 years.
She has supported a lot of grassroots groups to organize and contribute to national development of The Gambia which earned her great respect and recognition across the country.
Dr. Touray holds a Doctorate Degree in Development Studies at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom; and a master’s degree in Development Studies with Specialization in Women and Development, from The Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, The Netherlands.