March 11, 2014 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma from Kono
Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority (NRA), Madam Haja Kallah-Kamara, on Sunday, 8 March interacted with the women of Kono district, eastern Sierra Leone, as part of celebrations marking International Women’s Day.
The event brought together women from across the country to speak on issues affecting their lot, especially during the dreadful Ebola outbreak which has disproportionately affected women folks in Sierra Leone.
While addressing the women of Kono, Madam Kamara noted that the day is significant to women of Sierra Leone as the celebration is marked across the world.
She recalled that over 150 countries met in China in 1991 to discourse women’s rights, and that since then women all over the world have been observing and celebrating the day.
She said after the conference many organisations began advocating for women’s rights across the world, and on women’s right to education and leadership, which has immensely benefitted many women across the world.
“In Sierra Leone it is better we now have a leader who cares about women being given a chance, which shows that he is a leader that respects gender and he is ready to work together with women to develop and bring change to the country. Today we have women ministers and women heading big government institutions,” she said.
She called on all mothers in Kono District and around the country to send their girl children to school and to give them the best education as it is their right, instead of sending them into early marriage that will destroy their future. She also urged mothers to give their children home training as that is what makes them good mothers.
“We are women but I want you to know that anything a man can do we can also do it and even better. I want to use this opportunity to call on all the women of Sierra Leone to come together and help the president to build this nation,” she urged.
Co-founder of the Playhouse Foundation and founding member of Salone Business Women’s, Ms. Finda Koroma, called on Kono women to have confidence in themselves and emulate the men.
She said that during the three-day seminar she had organised for Kono District women, they had discussed issues of teenage pregnancy and causes of underdevelopment among women in Kono.
She implored them not to allow politics to divide them as they are one people who should be working together to develop the state instead of fighting over politics.
Also, Kono District Council Chairman, Abdul Rahman Koninga, said International Women’s Day is normally celebrated with joy over the past years although celebrations are muted this year in Sierra Leone because of the Ebola outbreak.
He said the outbreak has affected the socio-economic fabric of the state, putting paid to development in the country, with women being on the worst receiving end.
He said the Kono District Council has done a lot to promote women’s rights as they have women councilors, town heads and section chiefs, while women are also given the opportunity to part take in decision making in the district.