The event which started with a procession (match-pass) through the main Hangha Road to the Provincial Secretary’s Office, attracted Women’s Organizations, Students/Pupils Security Sector members, and Stakeholders.
Delivering her statement for and on behalf of women, the Chief Executive Officer, for Mohamed and Bernadette Lahai Foundation for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Dr. Bernadette Lahai, expresses her gratification to the Resident Minister East, Hon Komba ES Boyah, the Regional Police Commander-East; Commissioner of Police, Mr. Andrew M. Kamara and other stakeholders for their uncompromising support for this year’s 16 days of activism.
She reaffirmed that during the 16 days of activism, people around the world unite to raise awareness about Gender-Based Violence, their challenges and discriminatory attitudes, and call for improved laws and Policies that will completely end Violence against women and children.
She expressed displeasure over the prevalence of Gender-Based violence in our society nowadays, and its alarming occurrences.
She said it is more disgusting when it has been culturally accepted in most societies today which have propelled the act of violators going unpunished.
Even though the Government and other Stakeholders have designed mechanisms to mitigate the act, much more Gender-Based violence are going unreported and therefore, victims are unable to ask for redress and compensation.
She concluded by making a clerical call for assistance to the Government, through the Resident Minister East: They were as follow;
1. Government and donor agencies to commit more funds and support, to women’s rights organizations to intensify their work.
2. Build new protection mechanisms for women, human rights defenders, and women rights activist
3 Call on all those with responsibilities to care for, and protect girls, to be vigilant and not to be the ones to violate the right of these children.
4 Provide safe places in all the districts in the country, where women and girls will get some respite from the violators while seeking redress.
In his statement, the Resident Minister -East, Hon. Komba ES Boyah, on behalf of the people and Government of Sierra Leone, thanked the Foundation and other Women’s Organizations for the activities on the celebration of the 16 days of activism.
He assured that Government will not rest until the issue of gender-based violence is reduced drastically.
He said the Government will continue to provide the requirements, in the fight against Gender-Based violence in Sierra Leone.
The Divisional Operations officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police; Mr. Ibrahim Dikisu Kamara, who represented the Regional Police Commander, Mr. Andrew Mustapha Kamara, opined that the Sierra Leone Police is committed to the fight against Gender Base Violence.
He informed all that the Family Support Unit, which is one of the components of the Sierra Leone police was designated specifically to handle Gender-based violence, and its related incidents.
He encouraged all to inculcate the spirit of reporting Gender Base violence cases, as the FSU is visible in all the thirty-seven ( 37) Police Divisions across the country.
The occasion culminated with a display of a Brass Band from the government Secondary School, playing melodious tunes.