Referencing the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) Act 2022, which calls for at least 30% women representation in cabinet, and parliament as a clear justification statement, President Bio has, on Thursday, 2nd February 2023, told school girls and all present in Bo city that his administration is a golden one for women and girls in throughout the county.
He made this known during the launch of the free sanitary pads at the Bo Mini Stadium in the presence of different policies and decision-makers in the educational system as well as national development.
He said that menstruation in many homes was a taboo as parents would never want to talk about it in front of their girls which many a time leads to a lack of understating on how to cater for their hygiene.
Speaking on the presentation of the sanitary pads, the president describe the project as a full package that will be with the girls for a year, adding though the First Lady started the nationwide distribution of the free sanitary pads alone, the government supports for the initiative will now make it more impactful.
“Teenage pregnancy destroys the future of girls. So, my government want to paopaly stop it so as to build a strong foundation for the girls. No school going girl should be given to early marriage,” he said.
President Bio assures his audience that there has been no better time for women and girls in Sierra Leone than now and that his government is committed to ensuring that there should be at least 30% women representation in public positions.
In her statement, First Lady, Fatima Bio, said menstruation is not a crime and that girls should never be ashamed of it, noting that menstruation is not a choice for any girl or a woman.
“You should no longer be late to go to school because you don’t have money to buy sanitary pads. You should now stay in school and should never worry about money to buy pads,” she admonished the girls.
The First Lady appreciated UNFPA, Goal Sierra Leone, Care, and others, for their support of her ‘Hands off our Girls’ campaign which has made headway in the country to change the negative mentality men have over young girls over the years.
The Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, David Moinina Sengeh, in his statement, said Sierra Leone is now better than at any time in the country’s history, stating that President Bio and First Lady are advocates for gender parity, increased school enrolment, more trained teachers, retention in school, among other indicators.