The chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, Jamesina King, has said many provisions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendations are yet to be implemented; especially those dealing with women’s issues.
She said this in a symposium organized by “Women in the Media Sierra Leone (WIMSAL)” at the police headquarters over the weekend to commemorate the International Women’s Day.
She added that, “the International Women’s Day is indeed worthy of commemoration in Africa, a continent where women are perceived only within the context of being the weaker sex”.
Mrs King noted that around the world women were discriminated against in so many spheres, and for this to change the media should act as a vital tool and vehicle for not only exposing discrimination and abuses against women but also making meaningful suggestions and recommendations to ensure that the status quo changed.
The chairperson of the Human Rights Commission maintained that, WIMSAL should project the image and ensure the visibility and values of women in the country, adding further that WIMSAL should endeavour to educate “our societies through advocacy and campaigns for better standards for all”.
In her keynote address, Honourable Elizabeth Lavalie stated that WIMSAL was formed at a time when the whole world’s focus was on the equality, equity and the progress of women.
She stated that Sierra Leonean women had not been left out in the fight for female empowerment. “That’s why we have formed advocacy groups that seek the welfare of women from the grass root to the elite,” she maintained, adding that WIMSAL’s theme for the symposium was not in anyway different from the objectives of forming WIMSAL.
In her statement WIMSAL’s president, Mariama Sesay, said “we acknowledge the fact that if women in this country are to benefit from the three Gender Acts, if the Sierra Leonean woman is to experience a dramatic transformation of her current status in the country, then women must be empowered.”
Ms Sesay maintained that, “If women are given the leverage to function without stereotypes in every sphere of the society, then we are in for a very big challenge”.
An adviser to WIMSAL, Mariama Coker, said Sierra Leonean women and female journalists in particular were now aware of their citizenship and rights.
By Abibatu Kamara