๐…๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐‹๐š๐๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐’๐ข๐ž๐ซ๐ซ๐š ๐‹๐ž๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ƒ๐ซ.๐…๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐š ๐Œ๐š๐š๐๐š ๐๐ข๐จ ๐ƒ๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐‡๐ž๐ซ ๐Š๐ž๐ฒ๐ง๐จ๐ญ๐ž ๐€๐๐๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐Ž๐ง ๐Œ๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ฅ ๐ˆ๐ง๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐’๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐€๐ง๐ ๐‡๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐€๐ญ ๐‡๐š๐ซ๐ฏ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐”๐ง๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ

๐Œ๐š๐ซ๐œ๐ก ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ก ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’

Sierra Leoneโ€™s First Lady, Dr.Fatima Maada Bio, has addressed the pressing issues of early marriage, teenage pregnancy, and maternal mortality rates at the World Congress on Moral Injury, Spirituality, and Healing. She highlighted the detrimental impact of societyโ€™s perceptions and cultural norms that perpetuate gender-based violence and called for urgent global attention to address these challenges. The First Lady emphasised the need for world leaders, women, and men to unite in combating these issues and effecting positive change.

As a Muslim woman from a country known for its 100% religious tolerance, First Lady Fatima Maada Bio pledged to leverage the influence of the two most powerful religions in the world to combat these societal menaces. By harnessing the teachings and values of Islam and Christianity, she aims to spearhead a movement against early marriage, teenage pregnancy, and maternal mortality rates.

She also discussed the successful outcomes of the โ€œHands Off Our Girlsโ€ campaign. She highlighted President Bioโ€™s and other African First Ladiesโ€™ unwavering commitment to standing against rape and gender-based violence. This collective effort signifies a crucial step towards eradicating harmful practices and promoting gender equality across Africa.

Her Excellency stressed the importance of gender equality and womenโ€™s empowerment by likening women to the neck that supports the head. This analogy signifies the pivotal role women play in supporting and steering decision-making processes that directly impact them. By advocating for women to have a seat at the table where decisions concerning women are made, she highlights the necessity of including women in key discussions that shape their lives and futures.

His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio has been a strong advocate for gender equality and womenโ€™s empowerment in Sierra Leone. Through the enactment of laws that ensure 30% representation for women in both elective and appointed positions, he has demonstrated a commitment to promoting gender parity and inclusivity in governance. Additionally, his support for initiatives such as protection of women and girls, empowerment programmes, review of laws and policies, provision of free quality education, increased participation of women in governance, and radical inclusion policies like allowing pregnant girls to attend school showcases his dedication to advancing gender equality, she said.

The discussion at the World Congress on Moral Injury also touched upon healing mechanisms for addressing moral injury within societies. By prioritising gender equality and womenโ€™s empowerment, societies can work towards healing past injustices and creating a more inclusive and equitable future. Initiatives such as empowering women, ensuring their representation in decision-making processes, and implementing policies that protect their rights contribute to healing moral injuries caused by systemic inequalities.

โ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆ..

Strategic Communications Division,

Office Of The First Lady,

Republic Of Sierra Leone.

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