Meet Mandela Fellow Mariama Barry

A police officer in The Gambia Police Force (GPF), Ms. Mariama Barry serves as the Assistant Commanding Officer for Administration at the Police Headquarters in Banjul.  Ms. Barry is a third-year student at the University of The Gambia (UTG), majoring in Public Administration.  As a survivor of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Mariama is devoting her law enforcement career to campaign against the practice.  Through community policing and other enforcement means, the young police officer rallies female colleagues against FGM and encourages the public to report the practice, now outlawed throughout The Gambia.  Ms. Barry also sits on the Police Think Tank, where she is one of the only two female officers.  She wants to transform the Police into a force that adheres to democratic principles, good governance, human rights and the rule of law.  Mariama also has international peacekeeping experience, and spent two years in the restive Sudanese region of Darfur where she served the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Mission as a police advisor.  Her participation as a Mandela Washington Fellow will help her to strengthen The Gambia’s security sector and solidify the country’s democratic gains.