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“Landmark progress made in women’s empowerment…” -Vice President Juldeh Jalloh confirms

HomeNews“Landmark progress made in women’s empowerment…” -Vice President Juldeh Jalloh confirms

“Landmark progress made in women’s empowerment…” -Vice President Juldeh Jalloh confirms

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Vice President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh has confirmed that the country has make landmark progress in women’s empowerment.

The Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs (MGCA), in collaboration with the United Nations, Irish Aid, CARE and the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) on Friday 8th March 2024 observed the International Women’s Day (IWD) at the Youyi Building in Freetown at which event the keynote Speaker, the Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh catalogued government’s successes in promoting gender equality and empowerment.

The theme for the year’s event was “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress” with the local theme ‘Put value pa uman for dem quick betteh.”

According to the Vice President, since 2018, Sierra Leone has made landmark progress in the areas of gender equality and empowerment citing the Free Quality Education that has increased the enrollment and retainment of girls in both primary and secondary schools than boys from 6-11%, the free education for girls offering the sciences, construction of nursery schools in market centers nationwide and increased budgetary allocation to education to 22%.

Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh further revealed that government has recruited more health workers, that maternal and mortality rates have reduced by 38%, that there is a dedicated budget line for nutrition for women and children, that government has established the fast-track Sexual Offences Court, is supporting advocacy for the GEWA, the Hands Off Our Girls Campaign, access to microcredit from the MUNAFA Fund for women, disclosed that government would soon establish the Social Protection Agency for the aged asserting that they would do more for women.

Earlier in his welcome statement, the Deputy Minister of MGCA, Mr. Hindowa Bindi congratulated the women of Sierra Leone as they joined the rest of the world to celebrate the day, informed that government is gratified as it continues to make significant strides citing the country’s Midterm National Development Plan that is at the center and assured that government would continue to promote and empower women.

He also noted that inspite of the progress made, the work is still not over yet, that they are working hard to enact the Child Rights Bill, that the day is for women to use the opportunity for their voices to be heard especially on issues affecting them, reiterated that government is committed to empower and promote women and that they are at the center of its development plans.

Earlier, Mr. Bami Sesay of MGCA introduced the chairperson for the event, the Special Adviser to the President on Gender Affairs, Mrs. Isatu Jabbie Kabba.

Mrs. Kabba asserted that government firmly believes in gender equality and empowerment, recalled the 1979 United Nations Declaration in recognition of gender equality and empowerment, affirmed that the day is to reflect on the challenges confronting women and renew commitments to gender equality and empowerment and appealed, “lets forge ahead.”

She also extolled the President for creating the political space citing the number of women Ministers, Members of Parliament and Councilors.

The Director of Gender and Children’s Affairs, Goodie Sowonie revealed that the day is an opportunity to showcase the good work women are doing to mark the economic, cultural and socio-economic development of women, that the United Nations has organized several conferences to promote women and gave as example 1975 when the UN declared the International Women’s Year.

Goodie Sowonie continued that in 2013, former President Ernest Bai Koroma declared 8th March as International Women’s Day and furthered that the day is to raise awareness, showcase the achievements of women and girls adding that they have also established the Gender Desk in the Ministry, enacted the Domestic Violence and Sexual Offenses Acts respectively, the Gender and Women’s Empowerment Act (GWEA) and achieved the 30% quota in addition to several other laws.

Other dignitaries who made statements at the auspicious occasion included the Minister of Development and Economic Planning,  President of the Women’s Forum-Sierra Leone, the World Bank Representative, the Irish Ambassador, the Representative of the European Union, the British High Commissioner and the American Ambassador.

Highlights of the event were musical performances by local artists and plays depicting the need to empower women.

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