First Lady Advocates for Women & Girls Amid Instability Threats

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

In a compelling address, Her Excellency Dr. Fatima Maada Bio, the First Lady of Sierra Leone, underscored the critical role of stability in safeguarding the rights and future of women and girls in the country. Speaking on the theme: “Women and Girls in the Face of Instability” ,Dr. Maada Bio emphasized the strides made in advancing women’s rights while highlighting the potential risks posed by instability.

Commending the nation’s progress in protecting women and girls’ rights, Dr. Fatima Bio credited her husband’s leadership for positioning Sierra Leone as a global advocate for female empowerment. Notably, President Bio’s initiatives on girls’ education and promoting women in leadership roles have garnered international recognition.

As a staunch advocate, Dr. Maada Bio reiterated her commitment to the ‘Hands Off Our Girls’ campaign and recently spearheaded a United Nations resolution addressing the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence.

However, amidst celebrations of achievements, Dr. Maada Bio cautioned against the looming threat of instability, highlighting its historically devastating impact on women and girls during conflicts. Recalling Sierra Leone’s past, she vividly portrayed the harrowing plight endured by women and children, emphasizing their vulnerability to abuse, torture and exploitation.

Citing alarming statistics from UN Women, Dr. Maada Bio highlighted a 50 percent surge in the number of women and girls affected by conflicts globally since 2017, underscoring the mounting challenges in safeguarding their rights.

Quoting the United Nations Human Rights Commission, she outlined the multifaceted challenges faced by women and girls in conflict zones, including heightened gender-based violence, limited access to education, and increased economic pressure on women as primary providers for their families.

Dr. Maada Bio called for collective action, stressing the pivotal role of stability in sustaining progress. She applauded ongoing Governmental efforts, led by her husband, aimed at critical development agendas such as food security, climate change and women’s empowerment as catalysts for Sierra Leone’s prosperity.

Expressing her conviction in rewriting Sierra Leone’s history, Dr. Maada Bio urged continuous efforts to protect the hard-won gains and ensure a stable environment conducive to women’s advancement.

In a poignant conclusion, she invoked blessings upon the nation and called for unwavering commitment to safeguard Sierra Leone—an unequivocal home for all its citizens.

The address by Her Excellency Dr. Fatima Maada Bio serves as a poignant reminder of the invaluable necessity of stability in securing the rights and future of women and girls in Sierra Leone.


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