International Day of the Girl Child – women are underutilized in Sierra Leone

Fatima Maada Bio: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 11 October 2018:

My Sierra Leonean women are very strong and resilient. I call them “Women of substance”. As a republic, we have gone through a lot, but our women have always stood strong.

As a human resource, women are underutilized in Sierra Leone. Women can contribute so much more . To this end, we must develop our girl child now and education is key.

Building women that will be better suited to help in the development of a great Sierra Leone means giving better quality education to the girl child. There are various factors, truncating their development. From child marriage to high teenage -pregnancy and it’s associated social ills.

Educating the girl child makes them better suited to contribute more as adults.

Education is one of the most important means of empowering women with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the development process.

Building Sierra Leone requires everyone working at optimum.

My Office will fight against factors that will sabotage our girl child from having quality education.

“This year alone, 12 million girls under 18 will be married, and 21 million girls aged 15 to 19 years will become pregnant in developing regions,” says UN Women (2018).

We refuse to shy away from the existing social issues, we are dealing with these issues head-on.

Teenage pregnancy must be reduced, and child marriage eliminated. We must raise the standard and expectations required from our girl child. It is also important we take care of teenage mothers to make sure they are not “lost” in the system.

Today, as we celebrate the International Day of the girl child, our girls should be assured, they will be well equipped to take their rightful position in society, as they build a great Sierra Leone.

About the author

Mrs Fatima Maada Bio is the wife of president Julius Maada Bio. She is the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

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