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Traditional leader denounces violence against women

By Mohamed Massaquoi

As a means of ensuring women’s rights within his chiefdom and the entire Kailahun District are protected, the Paramount Chief of Pendembu in the Upper Bambara Chiefdom, Kailahun District has launched a strong campaign on violence against women and children in his chiefdom, saying it was the responsibility of traditional leaders to collectively address the menace in their respective chiefdoms and the country as a whole.

PC Foray Gondor, while addressing his subjects and other authorities at a ceremony to mark ‘16 Days of Activism’ organized by the Social Enterprise Development (SEND) Sierra Leone  for the women of Kailahun, said domestic violence was unacceptable and can only be cured if those in authority adhered to the principles of justice, human rights and women’s participation in governance.

It could be recalled that the township of Pendembu and its environs have been notorious for domestic violence and human rights violations thus prompting the chiefdom authorities to institute bye-laws to ensure that the rights of women were strongly upheld.

“I want to assure you and the entire people of Sierra Leone that the rights of our women and children will be maintained within this chiefdom,” assured PC Gondor. “We will make sure that women are given equal opportunity to participate in the governance system of the chiefdom. During the 2012 elections, we voted for women candidates to represent us in the district council. In fact violence against women has drastically reduced in this chiefdom and with the support of SEND Sierra Leone, our women are now advocating strongly to attain responsible positions in society.”

Councilor Hawa Moriba of Ward 08 thanked the tradition ruler for his diligent services to the women of Kailahun, noting that the ‘16 Days of Activism’ was designed in honour of women and disabled persons who have suffered different forms of violence across the world.

He called on her colleague women to strongly work together for the education of their children as women have been deprived for a very long time.

“We have engaged various stakeholders within the district to work closely with women organizations for the development of our chiefdoms and the district as a whole,” she noted.