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As Africa Human Rights Day commemorated today…

HRC demands examination of women’s rights

October 21, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) has called for the need to critically examine challenges that prevent women and girls from enjoying their human rights in dignity and respect.

The country will today (Friday, 21 October) join other countries around the world to commemorate Africa Human Rights Day on the theme: “The Promotion of Women’s Rights is a Shared Value in Africa”.

The day was set aside by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to remember all human rights and obligations set forth in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and also call for a deep and profound reflection on how far Africa has come as a continent since the adoption of the Charter in 1981.

The commission’s chairperson, Brima A. Sheriff, notes the frequent reports of sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls, adding that in most cases perpetrators go unpunished.

He called on the government to ensure that perpetrators of all forms of violence against women and girls were brought to justice and victims compensated.

He also expressed grave concern about the continued use of harmful traditional practices, including female genital cutting particularly of girls below 18 years.

While acknowledging the government’s efforts, through the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs for the development of a draft National Strategy for the Reduction of FGM/C (2016-2020), Mr. Sheriff reminded everyone that women and girls rights are human rights.

He urged that the Revised Constitution advances the protection and promotion of all, particularly women and girls as all discriminatory provisions have been expunged.

“HRCSL remains committed to its mandate to protect and promote human rights in Sierra Leone and will continue to support the empowerment and protection of women and girls in order for them to participate fully in the development of this nation,” he assured.

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