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First Lady to lead Maputu Protocol ratification

By Victoria Saffa

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Advocacy Movement Network (AMNet), Hawa Samai,told journalists that the First Lady of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma would take the lead in the advocacy for the ratification of the Maputo Protocol by the country.

She made this statement last week at the offices of Ipas Sierra Leone while updating journalists on the status of the protocol, and outcome of several meetings held with the six man team from Solidarity of Africa Women’s Right (SOARWR).

Madam Samai said AMNet is a human rights organisation which deals with women and children issues, adding that the protocol was looking for an African way of protecting African Women and that it is not a document meant to alienate anybody.

She added that though Sierra Leone was the first to sign and last to ratify the protocol, yet the country will be ratifying and domesticating the Protocol in a way that will be unique from other countries.

“We are happy that we have a president that is committed to women issues and we have been working with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs and even the Gender Advisor to the president together with the first lady”, she said.

One of the delegates from Equality Now based in Kenya , Jane Serwanga, said they were in the country  to support the work that has been done on the ratification of the protocol by local non-governmental organisations  like Ipas Sierra Leone, AMNet, Women’s Forum among others.

“We are pleased that a lot has been done over the years and we also have similar missions in other different African countries”, she said.

She stated that they were impressed with the commitments made by the First Lady SiaNyama Koroma, the Parliamentary Female Caucus, Gender Advisor to the President, the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs.

Madam Serwanga noted that the team found a lot of good will in the ratification of the protocol from the president to the minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs.