As Champion of Women’s Empowerment, President Bio Calls on Parliament to Pass The Gender Bill

In his address at the State Opening of Parliament, President Bio stated the following:

“My Government has further strengthened the prevention and response strategies and structures for Sexual, Gender Based Violence.

We have operationalised a free Rape Help Line and also established two more One Stop Centres in Karene and Bonthe to provide free comprehensive survivor-centred services for victims of sexual and

domestic violence. A national Sexual, Gender-Based Violence Response Strategy has also been launched to provide national referral pathways and formalise the response structures. We have also established 4 Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) hubs in Koinadugu District to provide adolescent-friendly family planning and other SRH services in a drive to reduce teenage pregnancies.

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I have spoken earlier about my government’s commitment to providing equal access to education for girls and women. For us, gender equality and women’s empowerment are not merely stated goals. We understand gender equality to be tied to the future and fortunes of our nation. There can be no true development if our women are not free and equal. Our goal of promoting development, tackling poverty, and entrenching good governance cannot be met without the full and free participation of the great women of our dear nation.

With gender firmly on the agenda, we have commenced gender mainstreaming in MDAs to facilitate the integration of gender issues within sectoral policies, plans, and programmes and to ensure intentional gender beneficiary targeting. Most significantly, my government has developed the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Bill to improve women’s political and economic empowerment.

Legislation has been laid in this Parliament and I appeal to all of us who believe in an inclusive and equal future for every Sierra Leonean to make the best decision for the future of this nation and pass the gender empowerment bill.”

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