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My commitment to women is not a lip service Bio assures

My commitment to women is not a lip service Bio assures

The former head of state of the republic of Sierra Leone and leading flagbearer aspirant of the SLPP, Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio has assured women in London that his commitment to women is not a lip service.

Speaking at the launching ceremony of his women support group in the United Kingdom named “Julius Maada Bio Women’s Wing – UK”, on Saturday 28th November 2015 at the prestigious Lancaster House, the leading flagbearer aspirant of the SLPP expressed his appreciation to the women from different professional backgrounds who have come together to support his candidacy. Formally launching the group, Rtd. Brig. Bio informed the audience that it will be an unpardonable mistake to make if we only confine women to the kitchen.

Rtd. Brig. Bio also reminded his audience that as a clear evidence of his commitment to women as equal partners in development in the 2012 presidential election he was proud to have nominated a very outstanding woman as his running mate. He assured the audience that if he is given the opportunity to lead SLPP as the presidential candidate and the honour to serve the people as the next President women will be at the heart of every development. Rtd. Brig. Bio also said that as a politician he is not rich but he is humble by the quality of people who support him especially women.

Outlining the purpose of the group, the founder and wife of Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio, Mrs Fatima Maada Bio said that her husband wanted her to create a group which will be used to empower women in Sierra Leone. Mrs Bio said that in a country where women are empowered they can bring change and contribute to national development. Mrs Maada Bio stated that the purpose of the group is to empower women in Sierra Leone to participate into politics because if there are more women in governance Sierra Leone will change forever. The elegant and beautiful Mrs Maada Bio also appealed to women to continue to support her husband whom she described as a man who believes in change and that come 2018 the country will change for the better.

In her remarks, the Chairlady of the Julius Maada Bio Women’s Wing, United Kingdom, Mrs Bernadette Wuyatta Songa said that the Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio has been popularly known as the “father of democracy” but as women they also see him as a politician who believes in the progress of women. She said as women they are proud that Rtd. Brig. Bio in the 2012 presidential election nominated a woman as his running mate. The outspoken Mrs Songa also said that the group will empower women in Sierra Leone to make a change and that the launching was about building the foundation of what politics will be based on which is women empowerment. Mrs Songa also thanked all the women for their hard work and called on everybody to support them to empower women in Sierra Leone.

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The introduction of the members of the Julius Maada Bio Women’s Wing was done by the Vice Chairlady, Mrs Baindu Dassama (popularly known as undiluted Makondor), the vote of thanks was moved by Mrs. Ijeoma Udechukwu and the mistress of ceremony was the graceful Mrs Fredrica Kella. The membership of the group also consists of working class women from other African countries notably Nigeria and Ghana who are also very poised to support women empowerment in Sierra Leone. In attendance were the SLPP Chairman of U.K & I Region, Mr Jimmy B. Songa, Executive Members of SLPP UK & I Region, Global JMB Support Group – UK Chairman, Mr. Tamba Lamina, former SLPP Chairmen, celebrities from the film industry and representatives of Jumbo International, United Kingdom. During the launching ceremony the Julius Maada Bio Women’s Wing also honoured Madam Beatrice Wusie for a life of loyalty and dedication of service to the SLPP.

It is important to note that the reason why the issues of women are very close to the heart of Rtd. Brig. Bio is that Sierra Leone experiences wide spread gender inequality. Women in Sierra Leone are often the poorest and most marginalised in communities. Many women are illiterate and unskilled. Issues like maternal mortality, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy and violence against women continue to be areas of great concern. Sadly, women also have a limited voice to call for change or policies that benefit them. One of the reasons is because there are many challenges to women holding elected offices and they remain severely under-represented in political and economic decision-making structures at all levels. This can be due to discrimination, male dominated political networks, abuse of women who consider standing for offices, a lack of education and training leading to lower self-confidence and social norms built on male hierarchies such as traditional leadership systems.

Therefore, supporting a politician like Rtd. Brig. Bio who is passionate about addressing the challenges women face and sees women as equal partners in development, the issues of women will take a centre stage in governance. There are also similar women support groups  for Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio in United States of America and Sierra Leone which are also known as “MAADA BABES”.

By: Julius Maada Bio Media and Communications Team

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