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Gender balance is key to sustainable economic development in Sierra Leone.
“International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance.”IWD Website
In Sierra Leone, we are fortunate to have a President that is gender neutral. He gives the job to qualified personnel regardless of gender. It came as no surprise when he appointed the first female Attorney-general and Minister of Justice Dr Priscilla Schwartz.
We have the able qualified Minister of Gender and Social Welfare working tirelessly and injecting new life into Social Welfare. We have numerous female ministers including the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Minister of Tourism and Culture, several Deputy Ministers, Ambassadors and Deputy Ambassadors among others. The beautiful city of Freetown also has a vibrant Mayor in the person of Her Worship Yvonne Aki Sawyerr.
Sierra Leonean women are resilient. Our women have held the nation together through turbulent times, and now, the same women of substance are in the forefront to move the nation in the new direction; From the market women to female Medical practitioners, from hard working full time housewives taking care of the home, to multi-tasking super women.
We are breaking down negative customary beliefs and traditions that reduce the ability of our women to achieve their full potential, Early marriage being one of them. We have women contesting to be Paramount Chiefs in Sierra Leone.
My #HandsOffOurGirls campaign goes beyond equal opportunity and gender parity, it is a rallying call for development, with women playing a prominent role. We have to create an environment that our women can achieving their full potential, for the good of Mama Salone.
H. E. Fatima Maada Bio
First Lady of Sierra Leone