By Problyn J. Alpha in Bo
A community-based organisation working on the promotion and protection of the rights of socially marginalised, vulnerable and disadvantaged women and girls – Women in Rights Awareness and Development (WIRAD) – has been officially launched in Bo.
Addressing her audience at the launch of the group at the Pastoral and Social Centre on New Gerihun Road in Bo, Assistant Deputy Director of Education, Bo District, Rev. Janet Kamara – who also chaired the ceremony – underscored the importance of launching the WIRAD especially in Bo as more than half of the women population in the country do not know their rights.
She pointed out that women have been neglected over the years because they do not know their rights.
“Every right has its corresponding responsibility, but if women are better educated on their rights, they can meaningfully contribute to the development of the country,” said Rev. Kamara while imploring everyone, especially her womenfolk, to put their hands on deck for the success of WIRAD.
She expressed optimism that with the successful implementation of WIRAD, the culture of silence among women will be a thing of the past.
Making a statement, the deputy Mayor of Bo City Council, Mohamed Wurie Jalloh, thanked women and disabled organisations in the country for their relentless awareness raising campaigns which, according to him, have helped to create awareness around issues bordering on the welfare of vulnerable women in the society.
A representative from the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Henry Milla, commended the organisation for complementing the work of his ministry, noting that a nation can only develop when women’s issues are adequately addressed.
He assured his audience that the Social Welfare ministry is always ready to collaborate with WIRAD and other like-minded women organisations to push women’s issues forward, adding that the enactment of laws that are women friendly is an indication that they attach great importance to women’s issues.
Giving a background to the organisation, national coordinator of the organisation, Elizabeth Massah, said the initiative to form WIRAD was borne out of the terrible ordeals women and girls of Sierra Leone went through during the decade-long civil war in the country.
She said key among the work the organisation does include promoting and defending women’s rights, access of women and girls to justice and governance, and peace and security, among others.
Madam Massah commended the African Women’s Development Fund for supporting them in the implementation of the project.