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MPs vow to tackle violence against women and girls

April 11, 2016  By Jariatu S. Bangura

Members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) have vowed to tackle violence against women and girls in the eastern Sierra Leone, after a visit to the principal city, Kenema.

At a town hall meeting held at Chinese Farm hall, themed ‘Advocacy outreach on raising awareness on violence against women and girls and post-Ebola stigmatization against Ebola victims families and survivors,’ Focal Person for IPU in the country, Hon. Rosaline J.K. Smith, said Sierra Leonean women suffered immensely during the civil war and the Ebola outbreak.

She said there are so many laws to protect women and girls although their implementation remain a dream in especially villages and chiefdoms across the country, adding that that is why they have decided to take Parliament to the people.

Hon. Smith said the theme of the meeting emphasises mainly the consequences of violence against women, which has warranted the intervention of the international community to seek ways of putting a halt to such barbaric acts against women and girls in the country.

Hon. Patrick Lahai Kargbo told the audience, drawn from all three districts in the eastern province – Kenema, Kono and Kailahun – that Sierra Leon had enacted five laws to protect women and the girls, including the Sexual Offences Act 2012, Child Rights Act 2007, Devolution of Estates Act 2007 and the Registration of Customary Marriages and Divorce Act 2007.

He told the audience that the problem faced by most families is that husbands marry two to three women, often marrying subsequent wives without notifying the first wife.

He said women and girls should be encouraged and supported because most of them are vulnerable to harassment from men, including their husbands.

Also, Hon. Bu-Buakie Jabbie commended the IPU for the outreach tour of the eastern province.

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