The Maputo Protocol follow-up ratification mission that was in the country to know the status of the Protocol since it was signed in 2003, has left with positive results from meetings held with different stakeholders.
The Protocol seeks to end all forms of discrimination, violence and gender stereotypes against women and children in Africa.
Updating journalists yesterday at Ipas Sierra Leone Country Office, Ipas Country Manager and Senior Policy Associate, Valerie Tucker said that the mission has had eventful and positive responses from the President, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma and other stakeholders.
Chief Executive Officer of AMNet, Hawa Samai said that AMNet is a Human Rights Organisation that deals with women and children issues.
She said the Protocol is looking at an African way of protecting African women, adding that it is not an alienated document.
The CEO said that though Sierra Leone was the first to sign and last to ratify the Protocol, but yet the country will be ratifying and domesticating the Protocol in a different way that will be unique than other countries.
Madam Samai said “we are thrilled that we have a President that is committed to women’s issues”.
Jane Serwanga from Equality Now in Kenya, and head of the mission, said they were in the country in support of the work that has been done by local organisations like AMNet, Women’s Forum and others.
She said her organisation, Equality Now, brings together women organisations from different African countries in a coalition called Solidarity for African Women’s Right (SOAWR) with the aim of supporting the ratification and domestication of the Protocol.
Jane said that their coming to Sierra Leone was as a result of a follow-up mission that came in the country in 2012 to know the status and the stance of the government on ratifying and domesticating the Protocol.
“we are pleased that a lot has been done over the years”, she said further stating that they have similar missions in different African countries.
She reiterated that “we are very much impressed with the commitment made by the First Lady, Sia Nyama Koroma, the female Parliamentary caucus, the Presidential Gender Adviser, the Minister of Gender and other stakeholders.
She said the signed Agenda for Prosperity given to them by the Presidential Gender Adviser on behalf of the President which contains a whole pillar that deals with gender issues, shows that he (President) is committed towards women’s issues.
The head of the mission, said they find a lot of good will in the ratification of the Protocol from the President to the Minister of Gender.
By Abibatu Kamara
Friday April 11, 2014