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‘๐ž๐ฆ๐š๐ซ๐ค๐š๐›๐ฅ๐ž ๐’๐ฉ๐ž๐ž๐œ๐ก ๐€๐ญ ๐‡๐š๐ซ๐ฏ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐”๐ง๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐Ž๐ง ๐†๐ž๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ-๐๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐•๐ข๐จ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž

๐Œ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐š๐œ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ฌ, ๐”๐’๐€โ€”๐Œ๐š๐ซ๐œ๐ก ๐Ÿ•๐ญ๐ก ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’

Sierra Leone’s esteemed First Lady, Dr. Fatima Maada Bio, delivered a compelling address at Harvard University, sharing her experiences and insights during her public lecture on Breaking Barriers, Building Future; Addressing Gender-Based Violence in the African Context.

Dr. Fatima Maada Bio began by expressing gratitude for the opportunity to engage with the Harvard community, acknowledging the contributions of Sierra Leoneans in facilitating her presence at the prestigious institution.

Delving into a poignant narrative, Her Excellency painted a vivid picture of an ambitious young girl named โ€œFatima,โ€ defying societal norms to pursue her dreams despite facing obstacles. Through her storytelling, she illustrated the challenges many young women in Africa encounter in breaking free from tradition and discrimination.

Transitioning to her role as First Lady, she highlighted the dire state of affairs for women and girls in Sierra Leone, characterized by prevalent gender-based violence, child marriage, and limited access to resources. Dr. Fatima Maada Bio emphasized the imperative need to address these barriers for a brighter future.

Undeterred by challenges, Her Excellencyโ€™s commitment to the โ€œHands off Our Girlsโ€ campaign exemplifies her dedication to combating gender-based violence and empowering women. She outlined initiatives, including the declaration of a state of emergency on rape and the establishment of structures to address gender-based violence in Sierra Leone.

Highlighting progress made, including reduced infant mortality rates and increased girlsโ€™ school enrollment, Her Excellency stressed the ongoing need for collective action and collaboration. She urged stakeholders to amplify women’s voices, engage men in the fight for gender equality, and invest in research and policy initiatives.

In conclusion, Dr. Fatima Maada Bio reiterated her unwavering commitment to gender equality and womenโ€™s empowerment. She called upon individuals to join the fight against sexual and gender-based violence, emphasizing that โ€œNo excuse for abuse!โ€

Reflecting on her journey, Dr Fatima Maada Bio left the audience inspired and empowered to join the cause, reaffirming her commitment to creating a better future for women and girls. Her words underscored the severity of women’s issues in Africa, particularly rape, teenage pregnancy, and early marriage, emphasizing the critical role of education in addressing these challenges.

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Strategic Communications Division,

Office Of The First Lady,

Republic Of Sierra Leone.

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