March 22, 2017 By Regina Pratt
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, will today commence a training workshop on the Maputo Protocol at the Bintumani Hotel, Aberdeen in Freetown.
In a letter dated 17th March, 2017, the Director-General &Ambassador-at-Large in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that his ministry has the opportunity to host the training workshop on state reporting obligations under the Maputo Protocol, which is the optional Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa 2003, noting that Sierra Leone ratified this protocol on 2nd July, 2015 and the initial report on the implementation and compliance of this Protocol is due later this year.
“Sierra Leone has been working hard over the years to improve the status of women and girls in society as demonstrated in the enactment of the gender Acts by Parliament. These Acts include the Sexual Violence Act of 2002, Registration of Customary Marriage Act, which provides that the consensual age of marriage should be 18 years, thereby prohibiting early marriages, Divorce Act, Devolution of Estates which makes provision for women to inherit their husbands properties upon his death and the Domestic Violence Act which prohibits violence of any form against women and girls,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry letter dated 17th March, 2017, stated.
The letter further stated that the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, works to promote the rights of women and girls on the African continent through supporting the work of the Special rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, and strengthening implementation and compliance with the African Union Protocol to the African Charter on human and People’s Rights and the Rights of Women.