GO BIFO Women Organisation, with support from AdvocAid, has engaged different women groups in Kenema City.
The engagements were made during the celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March 2023.
GO BIFO Women Association, an umbrella body that addresses issues of discrimination against women who come in contact with the laws of Sierra wase was fully boosted by AdvocAid to meet the needs of women through different strategies.
The event targeted 25 members of the GO BIFO Women Association and empower their members to take lead in advocacy by serving as speakers at the community outreach events.
The support is part of the GeEmbassy-funded under the project, the Civil Peace Service (CPS) supported AdvocAid which was aimed at Celebrating the IWD in partnership with the Ministry of Gender And Children’s Affairs with a conference on the GEWE Act, PEA, and PPRC Acts and a community outreach engagement in Kenema on ‘’Ending stigmatization against women in contact with the law’’.
Madam Jalahan Amara Jakima, the South-East Programs Officer for AdvocAid said, the community outreach was meant to influence community stakeholders to reduce or stop the discrimination against women who encounter the law and to raise awareness on issues that most times lead to women in detention places.
The Specific objectives range from, engagement of the community to accept women from detention places, showcasing how violence contributes to women in detention through their stories and popularizing the German Embassy-funded project to the community respectively.
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During the Conference, the women benefited from a presentation on the GEWE Act, Public Election,s Act, and the Political Parties Registration Commission Act as the most recent gender empowerment laws passed in Sierra Leone. The majority of the beneficiaries attested that the knowledge-building lying session and the partnership-building event were very important, based on the feedback they gave after the event. It served as a learning session in which many have understoodrelevanceevant of these documents and how important they are to support the Women Empowerment Strategy and Bill.
During the community outreach at the IDA Market, the women took turns in explaining to the audience the ways through which individuals and the community stigmatize them, the pathways to imprisonment by sharing true life stories and how the community stakeholders can support them in community ties as well as for the women not to address themselves with the conditions and situation around them. Most of what was presented by them served as testimony by many women who were present at the different engagement points.
Many women who witnessed and listened to the event presented their opinions, and questions and most of them were addressed by members oforganizationation.
“We are happy for this organization, at least we are now sure we can access justice even if we are poor or non-influential in the community’’. a market woman at the IDA market in Kenema said.
Another woman shared her experience of being wrongly treated by a microfinance institution with little or no access to justice.
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“I was kept under lock for 3 days because I couldn’t produce a lady I stood as guarantor for and couldn’t get her to pay neither did I have money to pay” she concluded.
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