Sierra Leone’s First Lady, Fatima Maada Bio has on the 11th June 2024 met with the Female Caucus of Parliament in the Committee Room One of the Parliament Building to discuss the Prohibition of early Child Marriage Bill, 2024, currently under deliberation.

She emphasized the importance of the bill and her commitment to protecting the lives of children in Sierra Leone as well as giving out her position which is secondary to the impact she can make in the lives of women and girls across the nation. She stressed the need for unity among women, transcending political and social divides.

She expressed appreciation for the bipartisan approach of the female MPs, seeing it as a symbol of national unity for women’s causes and commended Hon. Catherine Tarawally for her unwavering support and acknowledged the contributions of Hon. Zombo, recommended by the Leader of Government Business, for her track record in promoting female issues.

She further appealed to the female Members of Parliament to support the bill, emphasizing the grim reality faced by many young girls in Sierra Leone. She pointed out that many mortuaries are filled with teenage girls who died in childbirth, often due to a lack of protective laws like the proposed bill.

The President of the Female Caucus, Hon. Wuyatta Songa, noted that the First Lady’s engagement was crucial for the successful passage of the bill. She highlighted Her Excellency’s contributions and how her intervention would empower female Members Of Parliament to advocate effectively during debates.

The Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business, Hon. Mattew Sahr Nyuma, stressed the importance of addressing women’s and children’s issues with the seriousness they deserve. He called for a bipartisan approach, emphasizing that the bill benefits all women, regardless of political affiliation.

In his remarks, the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Abdul Kargbo, shared his own observations on the effects of early child marriage in his community. He assured the First Lady of the opposition’s support, recognizing the bill’s significance and non-controversial nature.