HRC Sierra Leone Cement ties with LEWAF

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By Ismael Bayoh – 23 August 2019

In what has been termed as a bold step the Lady Ellen Women’s Aid Foundation (LEWAF) on Wednesday August 21 2019 presented their three point resolution to the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) for partnership and the protection of women and children.

LEWAF is a group of women petty traders and market women from Western Area Urban and Western Area Rural on community based justice advocacy. The organization was at the HRCSL to explain their plans and highlight some areas of concern to assist the communities they operate on law and human rights.

The Group’s resolution to end impunity around rape, sexual penetration and early girl child marriage encompasses the increase in the number of prosecutions and conviction rates, end all forms of compromise of gender based cases and a call on parliament to ratify the proposed revision to the sexual offences Act 2012.

Welcoming the group, the Chairperson of HRCSL, Patricia Narsu Ndanema said the Commission felt very excited seeing women coming together to promote human rights in their various communities in women and children’s rights protection. She also extended collaboration to them in the areas undertaken by the HRCSL on legal education, public education in communities and schools on child marriage.

The Vice Chairperson, Victor Lansana lauded the strategies undertaken by the Organization in empowering women and capacity building in their various communities. He too assured them of HRCSL’s support in the area of capacity building. Commissioner Simitie Lavaly explained to them the statutory role played by the HRCSL and its position paper on the sexual offences amendment Act whilst Commissioner Dr. Gassan Abess emphasized that since the Organization understands the people they work with in their communities, there is need for collaboration between them and the HRCSL.

The Lady Ellen Women’s Aid Foundation (LEWAF) with sponsorship from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) five years ago encouraged some groups of women to confront gender-based violence by setting up savings and loaning associations. Since then, about 84 groups of 3850 women and one group of 45 men, voluntarily save and share-out resources in Freetown, Waterloo and Moyamba District.

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