VOX POP : What Sierra Leonean women say about International Women’s Day

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with Yusufu S. Bangura

Every year on March 8th the world celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) which is a global holiday celebrated to consider the steps taken towards achieving gender equality as well as the work that remains to be done to guarantee that women have equal opportunities and rights in all spheres of life.

This year’s theme for IWD  is “Digital Innovation and technology for gender equality”, which marks the impact of the digital gender gap on broadening social and economic inequalities.

In this Vox Pop, Concord Times’ Yusufu S. Bangura on Tuesday took to the streets of Freetown to gauge the views of Sierra Leonean women about their knowledge on the International Women’s Day.

Sallay Mansaray, Merchant in fruit

In my own understanding, I know that IWD is a day for us women to show love to one another  and for us to live in peace.But I don’t see anything for us women to celebrate as things are not easy for us because in most homes it us the women that cater for the family.

As for me I want the government and other organisations responsible for women issues to raise more awareness about this day because we hear about it on social media but we don’t know why we are celebrating this day.

Fatmata Sesay, Trader

I don’t have any knowledge about IWD and I don’t even know what they usually do for women on this particular day.I want state and non-state actors to review the agenda, reshape the strategies and come up with more practical ways of addressing our challenges as we are suffering.

So if they are celebrating this day they should do something for us that we will never forget and whenever they say today is women’s day we will feel happy to celebrate it.

Aminata Conteh, dealer in clothes

For me, I don’t have any idea about International Women’s Day, so if Wednesday was IWD I want the government to know that we the women are still facing challenges from men.As we celebrate this day let them do  very important things for us because we are the backbone of development.

Sylvia Conteh, Businesswoman

To my own understanding, I know IWD is our day because before we were born IWD has been celebrated across the World and on this day we used to tell our husbands that today is our day so they should make us feel like women by taking us out for lunch, giving us money, showing us more love, among others.

 I also know that the world celebrate us because of the respect we have as women. The government and its partners have done a lot for us by sensitizing us on different issues that affect women, but yet still we have some challenges that need to be addressed.

Stella M. Marrah, Businesswoman

Let me say the truth I don’t know anything about International Women’s Day because there is no awareness about this day and for this country I do not see anything that they are doing for us women.

For instance, whenever they say today is June 16 we know that it a day of remembrance for  children that lost their lives in South Africa, but for this day I don’t even know why we are celebrating.

Like for some of us we feel happy because we will stay at home on that day. If the government wants us to celebrate this day with joy next year, they need to enlighten us about this day.

Memunatu Conteh, Trader

As a woman, I  am not aware about this day, maybe it because we don’t know the meaning of this day and our rights that why men are maltreating us because if we know our rights as women we will not allow men to take advantage on us, so I need more knowledge about this day.

Yei Allieu, employee

I don’t really understand what they mean by International Women’s Day unless someone educate me about it. There is nothing for us to celebrate because we the women in this country are suffering.

We do  not have any happiness, like for some married homes the women are the breadwinners and most men take advantage on us, so we are calling on governments, activists and the private sector alike to power on in their efforts to make the digital world safer, more inclusive and more equitable for women and girls.

Mariama H. Kabbie, Petty trader

As a woman with three kids I am not aware about this day because whenever they say today is IWD I do my business to have something to eat. You are the first person that have informs me that Wednesday is International Women’s Day, I only heard about it today but I don’t know what the day is all about.

I want the government to support us because we are suffering, so next year International Women’s Day we will celebrate it with joy.

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