Freetown Terminal Limited, a subsidiary of Bollore Group, on March 7, 2023, celebrated International Women’s Day at their head office in Freetown with the theme: “Digital Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”.
International Women’s Day celebrated annually on March 8, as a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women.
Country manager for Bollore Group in Sierra Leone, Bertrand Kerguelen said his company is very gender sensitive, noting that they consider all as equal. “It is good for women to fight to navigate to the top. To be a woman is not a disease but an opportunity,” he said.
Human Resource Manager, Madam Claurinda Morgan, underscored the importance of the event to the company.She called on all to speak with one voice marking the day.
John Monrovia, Sea Freight Supervisor who chaired the event, thanked the company for organizing such an important event. Women, he said, are wonderful people who will accomplish what they want.
He admonished women to work together for a higher height.
Bintu Jonah, Chief Information Security Officer, Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, said gender equality is providing resources to everyone without discrimination regardless of gender. She pointed out that the digital space has been seen as a space for men for a long time but has been changing in recent times. “It will continue to change if we all make more effort. The world is going digital, which makes life safe and easy. So many transactions are now done online, and there are so many women entrepreneurs than before. Women should not keep back on the digital space,” she said.
She noted that by 2050, 70% of jobs will be on digital technology. “If you cannot navigate the digital space, you’ll miss out. The future is digital and cannot be reversed,” Madam Jonah said.
“Women should try to build their digital technology capacity through the use of the Internet and social media platforms. Digital literacy can boost productivity. So Bollore should help develop women to meet the digital benefits,” she advised.
Assistant Inspector General of Police, Memunatu B. Konte Jalloh shared her experience in the police force, where women were not strategic in the top cadre until recently after the reform by the British they are now having most women as senior officers.
“Before now, it is difficult for women to get pregnant in the police force until after spending over three years. Now, after one year, you can get pregnant,” AIG Memuna Jalloh said.
She said that they can now use the digital space for modern-day policing. “We have the Interpol, cyber unit, and we trying to digitalize the personnel data to make it right with NASSIT [National Social security and Insurance Trust], NCRA [National Civil Registration Authority], and for our own records. We are also tracking our vehicles to stop personnel from doing criminal activities and we have gone to paperless reporting as we now have our emails to share information,” she revealed.
She said that they have built a computer training center at the Police Training School .
She called on women to take up the challenge by partnering with men to excel.
A Gender Activist, Entrepreneur and an Author, Nasu Fofana, disclosed that by 2028 women are ready to come forward in politics to be the next president to address their own policies. “The next leader should consider a woman as an Inspector General of Police,” she said.