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Š๐ž๐ฒ๐ง๐จ๐ญ๐ž ๐’๐ฉ๐ž๐ž๐œ๐ก ๐€๐ญ ๐‚๐จ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐›๐ข๐š ๐”๐ง๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ˆ๐ง ๐‚๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐›๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐Ž๐Ÿ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ˆ๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐–๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐งโ€™๐ฌ ๐ƒ๐š๐ฒ

๐๐ž๐ฐ ๐˜๐จ๐ซ๐ค, ๐”๐’๐€ – ๐Œ๐š๐ซ๐œ๐ก ๐Ÿ–๐ญ๐ก ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’

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Š๐ž๐ฒ๐ง๐จ๐ญ๐ž ๐’๐ฉ๐ž๐ž๐œ๐ก ๐€๐ญ ๐‚๐จ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐›๐ข๐š ๐”๐ง๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ˆ๐ง ๐‚๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐›๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐Ž๐Ÿ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ˆ๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐–๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐งโ€™๐ฌ ๐ƒ๐š๐ฒ

๐๐ž๐ฐ ๐˜๐จ๐ซ๐ค, ๐”๐’๐€ – ๐Œ๐š๐ซ๐œ๐ก ๐Ÿ–๐ญ๐ก ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’

Sierra Leone’s First Lady, Dr. Fatima Maada Bio, has delivered a keynote speech at Columbia University during this year’s International Womenโ€™s Day celebrations. Her key focus on Women’s Empowerment and the battle against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Sierra Leone underscored the global recognition of the nation’s struggle with this pervasive issue since the civil war, resulting in heinous crimes against women and girls.

In her introductory statement, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, Professor of Psychology Education, praised Dr. Bio as a transformative figure, shaping the world through her dedication to women and girls’ issues, education, and innovation. Kuriansky highlighted the historical impact of the First Lady , predicting her enduring celebration for the positive changes she instigates.

During her lecture, Dr. Fatima Maada Bio shed light on the alarming prevalence of SGBV in Sierra Leone, revealing distressing cases of girls as young as six months old falling victim to rape and murder. She emphasized that the roots of SGBV are deeply entrenched in societal norms, traditions, and cultures that perpetuate violence against women and girls, especially underscoring the disadvantaged position of the girl child in African settings.

Dr. Fatima Maada Bio shared the harsh reality faced upon assuming her role in 2018, recounting instances of rape against infants, murders, child marriages, trafficking, and obstacles to girls’ education. She highlighted the complicity of communities, religious leaders, and influential figures, contributing to challenges in accessing justice for SGBV victims.

Dr. Fatima Maada Bio stressed the dire consequences of SGBV, including high rates of infant and maternal mortality, teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS transmission, and premature deaths of young girls. She outlined strategic measures undertaken by President Julius Maada Bio, such as declaring a state of emergency on rape, revising sexual offenses laws, and launching campaigns like “Hands Off Our Girls” to provide swift justice, establish response centers, and empower women and girls through education and policy reform.

Her Excellency emphasized the positive outcomes of these initiatives, including a significant reduction in infant and maternal mortality, improved access to justice, and the passage of landmark legislation, such as the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Act of 2022. Sierra Leone, under her leadership, has championed global efforts at the United Nations, advocating for resolutions to combat child sexual exploitation and violence .

Her tireless dedication to women and girls’ empowerment reflects a deep commitment to justice and equality, as showcased in her international engagements, including the impactful address at Columbia University, highlighting the urgency of tackling SGBV and advancing gender equality worldwide.

โ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆ.

Strategic Communications Division,

Office Of The First Lady,

Republic Of Sierra Leone.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *