He made this statement whilst delivering a statement as Guest of Honor at the Moonteen Raising Awareness and Campaign on Gender Based-Violence organized by Moonteen in collaboration with Strong Women Strong Girls (SWSG) at the Senate Room, Faculty Building, Njala University.
“Let me emphasize this, there are laws that are guiding the abuse of women whether sexually , physically, emotionally, or psychologically and you all must know that the laws will be executed strongly,” he said.
He went on to say when it comes to enforcing the law, he together with his boss will not compromise with anybody who has committed sexual or gender-based violence, adding that, the laws are clear and will be fully implemented.
He said that he sees gender-based violence from three ambits: physical, verbal and psychological. “Physical violence is battering a woman’s body and her facial looks. For instance, by physically damaging the looks of a woman that does not give her confidence or motivation to stand in front of people which eventually demoralizes a woman and thus disempowers her,” Leema said.
He added that verbal violence is another abuse on women which involves telling a woman words that are not called for in public which by extension most times affects women emotionally and makes them not to be confident to stand in front of the public.
“These are some of the very reasons why it is not good to use violence against women because when you educate women in a very healthy atmosphere and allow them to grow in that kind of environment, they will have confidence to do things and have the confidence to promote the growth of society. When you empower women, you have empowered society,” the Deputy Minister maintained.
Founder and Director of Moonteen, Mrs. Makalay Saidiatu Sonda in her statement said that since the start of the 16 days of activism (November 25th – December 10th), Moonteen in collaboration with Strong Women Strong Girls Sierra Leone (SWSG) is raising awareness on gender-based violence by bringing together girls from different schools, parents and guardians, and authorities at Njala University and its environs to discuss the issues and make recommendations.
She went on to say that the 16 days of activism is not enough and therefore they would continue voicing issues of SGBV every day.
Giving her Key Note address, SWSG member, Mariama Kendemeh said SGBV affects the future of women and girls; thus the need for a continuous sensitization on issue of SGBV to the general public.
She added that rape which is also violence against girls and women happens every day in the various communities and advised girls not to lured by men with money but to immediately report such to their mothers or guardians.
She admonished girls, parents and guardians not to keep quite on issues of SGBV but to report to the police whenever men abuse girls and women.