The country director of Actionaid Sierra Leone, Tennyson Williams, has said they have no apologies to join in the fight for women’s rights and violence against them.
Speaking at their national level analysis yesterday at the British Council auditorium in Freetown, Mr Williams said they had been accused that, “our organisation is part of the group that wants to make women challenge their husbands. Violence should not be meted out on them because of their sex.”
He added that they were beginning to address women’s issues with regards to violence, as women rights had been violated in many spheres in society including the home, school and in the streets.
“Violence against women is a nuisance so we are going to fight all nuisances in the country,” he intoned.
Speaking about the population of the country, the Actionaid country director said women comprised 50% of the total population and that this was a situation where women could accomplish their goals without fear or favour, and that Actionaid was in partnership with their stakeholders to make sure that these goals were accomplished.
Mr Williams further stated that his organisation had strengthened their fight against poverty and women’s rights and all forms of violence against women.
Giving an overview of Violence Against Women (VAW), Zainab Senessie of Actionaid said, “violence against women is a way a woman can be infected with HIV/AIDS after they are raped, traditional practices which include female genital mutilation can also lead to HIV and it is a form of violence”.
The purpose of the VAW, Zainab said, was to add an understanding to violence against women and also to reduce the rate at which violence on women was committed.
The VAW aims further to strengthen the Family Support Unit (FSU), as it deals with violence in the family. Also it aims to provide medical and physco-social healing to women whom violence has been perpetrated on. About the Participatory Vulnerability Analysis (PVA), Martha Davies stated that the analysis started few years back wherein they discovered that the community could build on their knowledge, and so they could not go about designing project for a community that they were not aware of.
She added that they had a long term plan which was to design a link between emergency and long term development activities as they would recorgnise certain developmental issues that could affect the international as well as the local levels.