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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

First Lady champions fight against Early Child Marriage

HomeAYV NewsFirst Lady champions fight against Early Child Marriage

First Lady champions fight against Early Child Marriage

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The Office of the First Lady of Sierra Leone convened a critical High-Level Consultative Meeting, held at the Radisson Blu Hotel. This key gathering focused on the proposed Prohibition of Early Child Marriage Bill, a vital step to protect children’s rights and well-being in the country.

The High-Level Consultative Meeting served as a platform for robust discussions, insightful exchanges, and collaborative efforts toward crafting effective strategies for the proposed Prohibition of Early Child Marriage Bill. Dr. Fatima Maada Bio’s leadership and vision catalyzed a shared sense of purpose among participants, fostering a collective commitment to prioritize child protection and advocate for legislative reforms.

H.E. Ms. Seraphine Wakana, the UN Resident Coordinator, expressed gratitude towards the First Lady, for her relentless efforts in advancing the protection of vulnerable groups, especially girls, children, and women.

Her commendation of Sierra Leone’s commitment to ending early child marriage and safeguarding children’s rights echoed the global support for such initiatives and underlined the significance of legislative actions like the proposed bill.

The remarks from Hon. Catherine Zainab Tarawallie, along with those of other parliamentarians, Hon. Abdul Sullaiman Marray-Conteh, chairman of the legislative committee, reflected a bipartisan consensus on the necessity of passing the bill when it is done.

Their emphasis on the non-political nature of the bill, focusing instead on safeguarding children’s rights, showcased a united front in the quest to protect the nation’s youth and promote their well-being. Their speeches collectively reinforced the urgent need for legislative action to combat early child marriage and ensure a brighter future for Sierra Leone’s children.

Mrs. Melrose Karminty, Minister of Social Welfare, passionately articulated the severe consequences of early marriage, highlighting its detrimental effects on mental health, social isolation, and hindrance to social growth within the country.

She emphasized the significance of implementing the proposed bill as a laudable effort to protect young girls from these adverse impacts. Her words underscored the lasting impact such legislation could have on shaping a safer and more nurturing environment for the nation’s youth.

Dr. Isata Mahoi, Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs, focused on the practical ramifications of early marriage, particularly concerning young girls’ education and employment opportunities.

She highlighted the societal challenges faced by girls forced into marriage, such as limited educational prospects and engagement in menial jobs. Dr. Mahoi stressed the importance of the proposed bill with existing legal frameworks, signaling a comprehensive approach toward protecting children’s rights and well-being in Sierra Leone.

During her keynote address, Her Excellency Dr. Fatima Maada Bio passionately emphasised the urgency and importance of enacting legislation to prohibit early child marriage. She highlighted the devastating impact of this harmful practice on young girls, their families, and society as a whole.

Her Excellency articulated compelling arguments in favour of stringent legal measures to safeguard the well-being and the prospects of Sierra Leone’s children.

The First Lady of Sierra Leone’s presence and impactful address marked a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to combat early child marriage and protect the rights of children across Sierra Leone.

Her Excellency’s commitment to social justice and advocacy for vulnerable communities shone brightly as she addressed a gathering of policymakers, legal experts, civil society representatives, and advocates.

The event concluded with a discussion and brainstorming session, highlighting the engagement and commitment of stakeholders toward achieving meaningful legislative reforms for the protection and empowerment of children in Sierra Leone.

 

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