December 8, 2016
Two Sierra Leoneans, Global Girl Champion and Activist, Associate at the Population Council and member of the United Nations High Level Panels on Education and Youth Peace and Security, Chernor Bah (Ceebah) and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura were yesterday honoured as champions against violence by a Washington DC-based global public-private partnership, Together for Girls.
The group made the announcement in a press release that Ceebah and Zainab Bangura joined U.S Vice President Joe Biden and thirteen other global leaders and youth advocates “who are dedicated to preventing and responding to violence.”
The #16 Heroes List of which Ceebah and Zainab Bangura are proud honourees, through the release stated: “The data shows that violence against women and children is a global epidemic but these heroes remind us that change is possible.”
It also emphasised that despite the odds, the duo from Sierra Leone and the other honourees “continue to speak out against aggressors, to write legislations to protect the innocent, to build safe havens for victims and to fearlessly tell their stories.”
Reacting to the news, Ceebah, who is currently back in Freetown doing work around the country to empower girls and protect them from violence said: “it is an incredible honour to be awarded among these amazing people and for me, it is a fuel to continue to do more and to work tirelessly for a day when women and girls are no longer subjected to violence.”
On the other hand, Madam Bangura, who has over 20 years of experience working in conflict resolution and human rights, said she “remains unafraid of taking on groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Boko Haram and Al-Shaabab for their use of sexual violence as a tactic of terror; displacing large group of religious and ethnic minorities to occupy their land.”
Others on the list include: Ashley Judd, Actress, UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador and PSI Global Ambassador; Lisa Murkowoski, US Senator, and Rapper and Activist, Sonita Alizadeh.
Together for Girls is dedicated to ending violence against children, particularly sexual violence against girls and they publish the #16Heroes list annually in Safe magazine to coincide with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender- Based Violence.