February 11, 2019
By Joseph S. Margai
The Africa office of Equality Now in Kenya, a gender-based activists’ group, has applauded Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio for declaring rape and sexual violence as a national emergency.
President Bio on Thursday, 7th February, 2019, at State House in Freetown, ordered the judiciary to slam life imprisonment on those that would be found guilty of the above offences.
Equality Now’s mission is to ensure that the inequalities facing women and girls across the world, which limit them from reaching their potentials, are addressed by using legal and systemic change.
The gender-based group works on four thematic areas of ‘ending harmful practices (female genital mutilation), ending child marriage, end sex traffic and sexual violence, and creating legal equality’.
“The various measures highlighted by the president, if implemented, will go a long way in preventing and protecting and girls against sexual violence in Sierra Leone,” Programme Officer, Equality Now, Naitore Nyamu,
Equality Now has been relentlessly working with journalists and civil society organisations (CSOs) in Sierra Leone to end rape and sexual violence against girls and women.
“The statement by the Sierra Leonean president has validated the work that various CSOs have been doing in a bid to end the prevalence of sexual violence in Sierra Leone. We call upon all actors to adopt a multi-sectoral approach to ensure a coordinated approach in addressing sexual and gender-based violence,” Naitore Nyamu said.