Caritas “Youth in Politics & Peace Building” Project Raises Awareness on Women’s Rights”

By Millicent Senava Mannah

In a significant effort to educate and empower the youth on laws and policies safeguarding women’s rights and services, the “Youth in Politics and Peacebuilding” Project, backed by the UN Peacebuilding Fund (UNPBF), conducted a two-day Awareness Raising Session. The project, spanning 24 months, is a collaborative endeavor between the Catholic Relief Service (CRS), Caritas Freetown and the UNPBF.

Taking place on April 11th and 12th, 2024, at the District Council Hall in Waterloo, within the Western Area Rural District, the sessions targeted eight communities in the Western Rural area. Spearheaded by Eliza Sillah, the Project’s Coordinator, its core objective was geared toward engaging Sierra Leonean youths, aged 18 to 24, in dialogue, awareness, and education.

The initiative was also aimed at fostering cohesion, providing civic education and conflict management skills, supporting economic empowerment and enhancing women’s participation in decision-making processes. It sought to reach 16 communities in both the Western Area Urban and Rural regions, each equipped with a youth group and a young women’s group.

Eliza Sillah emphasized the importance of the training, particularly focusing on laws such as the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Act, Employment Act, Devolution of Estate Act, and Customary Land Rights Act. Participants were encouraged to become peer-educators, disseminating the knowledge gained within their communities.

Facilitators like Soniade Barlatt-Foh from Legal Access for Women Yearning for Equality Rights and Social Justice (L.A.W.Y.E.R.S) provided insights into the provisions of the aforementioned Acts, emphasizing the access they provide for women in managerial positions, owning land and financial resources.

Representatives from the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs stressed the importance of being aware of those legal provisions and knowing the appropriate channels to address grievances.

Participants like Fatmata Sesay and Abubakarr Mansaray lauded the training for its practicality and expressed optimism about its impact on raising awareness and fostering youth involvement in advocating for women’s rights.


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