November 30, 2015 By Memunatu Bangura
Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Mustapha Bai Atilla, has promised to do all in his powers to fight Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country.
He was speaking during the official launch of sixteen days of activism against Gender Based Violence themed ‘From peace in the home to peace in the world, make education safe for all’.
Atilla said his ministry would “leave no stone unturned” in bringing to book perpetrators of Gender Based Violence.
“We have to stop violence against women and girls in the country at all cost, we will fight if we can and do what we could to eradicate GBV in the country,” he said.
The Deputy Minister promised that by 2016 his ministry would commit to minimising violence against women and girls in the country, as well as provide access to better and safe education for girls.
In her keynote address, Nemata Majeks-Walker said Sierra Leone will be joining the rest of the world in the struggle to end violence against women and girls, end child marriage and teenage pregnancy.
She explained that the sixteen days of activism starts on 26 November and will end on 10 December.
Mrs. Majeks-Walker said women and girls should have access to safe education as without education they would not be useful in society.
She noted that during the Ebola period, there was an increase in rape and other domestic violence in the country.
UN Women country representative, Dr. Mary Okumu, asserted that over the years Gender Based Violence has caused sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS and syphilis among women and young girls, while Gender Based Violence had also dehumanised women and girls in the country, resulting to death of innocent girls, and leaving in its wake psychological effects that have made women and girls feel worthless.
“The sixteen days activism against violence should go beyond the stated period, we should reflect on how far we have come in the fight and press on. We should not relent,” she said