December 7, 2016 By Regina Pratt
Country Representative of the United Nations Women has stated that it is the responsibility of everyone, more especially the government to protect women and children because they are vulnerable.
Dr. Mary Okumu was speaking last week in the conference room of Parliament Building during a meeting organised by the Parliamentary Action Group on Ending Violence Against Women and Children and it partners on the campaign to end violence against women and children.
She said the call to protect the right of women and children was national but stressed that it behooves the government to protect its citizens especially women and children.
She called for pledges on the action plan to end violence against women and children to be operationalize and viable.
Madam Okumu commended the Speaker; Hon. Sheku Bashiru Dumbuya for his support and noted that it was under his tenure that the Action Plan to end violence against Women and Children was tabled in parliament.
“This is a National call and it is our responsibility to protect women and children as they are vulnerable. It is hoped that this Action Plan is taken seriously. I want to pledge our technical and financial supports to the plan,” she said.
Vice President for the Parliamentary Female Caucus, Hon. Veronica Sesay said they decided to champion the campaign to end violence against women and children in the country because they are vulnerable.
“Our male folks have agreed to support us in this campaign. It is very clear that women are vulnerable,” she said.
Hon. Hannah Bundu Songowa called for technical and financial supports to be provided so as to ensure that the campaign becomes a success.
According to her, the concept of the action plan was established and laid in parliament, and disclosed that a sensitisation strategy would be created, key stakeholders identified and activities operationalize.
“We need support both nationally and internationally,” she said.
Earlier, Speaker of Parliament, Hon. S.B.B Dumbuya said parliament was concerned about ending violence against women and children.
“Women should be cherished and we should not tolerate violence against them,” he noted.
On 29 May, 2016, a group of parliamentarians with support from United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) gathered together to discuss the situation of violence against women and children, wherein a document was prepared and laid in Parliament for legality.