Sierra Leoneans Women base in Washington DC in the United States of America have staged a massive protests at the Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington DC, the White House and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) against the Sierra Leone president Julius Maada Bio.
According them, the Government of Sierra Leone should stop all forms of political Intimidation, human rights abuse, police brutality, and the economic hardship affecting especially women; and the poor health system, corruption, lack of freedom of speech, blatant tribalism, and harassment of strong women in the country.
They cited the case of suspended Auditor General, Mrs. Lara Taylor Pearce and the Mayor of Freetown, Mrs. Yvonne Aki-Sawyer both of whom they say are being targeted on the grounds of political witch hunt .
The women have called on the international community to save the country’s Democracy from what they described as ruins of democratic values and good governance.
Reports say the women including men; were Carrying placards condemning president Bio for his ‘’various crimes against the people of Sierra Leone,.’’ The women told U.S officials that they were compelled to start the protests to bring to the attention of the international community the ‘’heinous crimes’’ being committed against the people by president Bio whom they called a dictator and ‘’human rights abuser,’’ .
The protesters, were few in number but their messages carried a tremendous impact, given the respect Americans have for women political activism.
Other Sierra Leonean women in different parts of the U.S said they are also planning protests across America and in Sierra Leone via zoom links.
Some of these women have threatened that they plan to bring the nation to a standstill if the ‘’dictator’’ illegally removes the Mayor or rigs next year’s presidential elections.
The ‘’Concerned Sierra Leoneans’’ in America are also planning big demonstrations against President Bio at the White House, State Department and MCC in the coming days or weeks, reports say.
The demonstrations were described as small beginnings, a Sierra Leonean political activist, Mr. Hassan Sas Moi quickly responded that “Nothing is a small beginning in the world we are living today. A man plus a computer equal to a movement “. He said.
The demonstrations were not entirely surprising to American officials as the U. S State Department Reports on Human Rights in the world for 2021 and 2022 seriously indicted the Sierra Leone government for mass human rights abuses, heinous crimes, unlawful killings, attacks and detention of political opponents.
World Menstrual Day…
Orange Foundation Donates Pads to Girls
Orange Foundation SL has on Monday 30 May 2022 donated menstrual hygiene pads to female pupils in various secondary and primary schools in Freetown.
The donation was done on behalf of the company head of public relations, Annie Wonnie Katta.
Each pack contains five re-usable pads, soap and other toiletries to boost women and girls’ menstrual hygiene.
While donating the items, Annie urged the pupils to value themselves during their menstrual periods. “There is dignity in menstruation; be confident and don’t look down on yourselves because it is something normal,”
World Hygiene Day’ is celebrated in collaboration with partners under the theme:
‘Making Menstruation a Normal Fact of Life.’ It is a direct appeal to society to stop stigmatisation of women and girls because of menstruation adding that it is a normal and natural way of life for women and girls.
The day is observed every 28, May every year to raise awareness and boost education on menstrual hygiene. The day’s selection is by design as women and girls menstruate at least every 28 days and five days the maximum period the menstruation lasts. It is also seen as a platform for women and girls to send a loud message that society no longer tolerates stigmatisation of women and girls owing to menstruation.
For centuries gone by, menstruation has always been a closely guarded secret owing to the stigma attached to it. To add weight to the occasion’s worth, several dignitaries from diverse spheres of life including the Deputy Minister of Basic and Senior School Education, Kadiatu Emily Gogra attended the ceremony.
Pupils of various secondary schools in Freetown also took part in the day’s celebration especially girls who are the main target for menstrual hygiene education.
In her address during the occasion, President for Orange Sierra Leone (OSL) women, Martha Sumaila made it clear that her institution was celebrating women and girls in all ramifications urging the public to think deeply about the statement that: ‘if you educate a girl or woman, you educate the world and if you care for a girl or woman, the care will radiate all over the world.
The OSL president mentioned basic hygiene challenges which female pupils face in their different learning institutions.
Lack of special toilet and hygiene facilities for girls in schools was among key challenges she highlighted.
This situation, she went on, forced girls to stay out of school for days during menstruation. The girls are not only stigmatised for menstruation but also considered as adults.
“Girls go through a lot; once their period starts, childhood is over, sex life has started and must should prepare for marriage life,” the Women’s President told the audience.
She went on to state that a large number of women and girls had little or no knowledge about menstruation adding that its occurrence was something abnormal. “Even elder women hardly know and monitor their menstrual cycle; it is a big challenge, and what comes after is a much bigger challenge,” she emphasised.
The OSL Women’s president also did not lose sight of the thousands of women and girls who live in communities and institutions without access to sanitary products they need.
A UNICEF study, she said, had shown that at least, 500 million women and girls globally lack adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management.
Pres. Bio Strengthens Bilateral Ties with Kenya
His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has met his colleague, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, where they discussed bilateral relations between the two countries.
President Kenyatta welcomed and thanked President Bio for being a guest speaker at the United Nations Peacekeepers Day and for celebrating Kenya’s Independence Day as a special guest.
He added that the two countries had been great friends and had supported each other at continental and international levels.
He further noted that the friendship between the two countries should be moved to the next level, where the full potential of both countries would be harnessed and utilised, saying that the peoples of Sierra Leone and Kenya should continue to work together to move trade and investments.
“Your Excellency, let me use this opportunity to thank you and welcome you and your delegation to Kenya. Do have a pleasant stay,” President Keyatta concluded.
In his response, His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio thanked his counterpart, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, for the warm reception and hospitality accorded him and his delegation, adding that the cordial relations and bonds of friendship between the two countries had existed since the days of former President Jomo Kenyatta and continued till today.
President Bio further commended the Republic of Kenya for their role in the peace process in Sierra Leone, adding that he appreciated President Uhuru Kenyatta for the opportunity to discuss bilateral, regional, and global issues with him.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank you for the donation of 20,000 tablets and power banks in support of the government’s effort to conduct the Mid-Term Population and Housing Census in Sierra Leone. Thank you for the invitation. I wish you and your people the very best as you continue to contribute to regional and global peace and good governance,” President Bio concluded.