Sierra Leone: National Dialogue Meeting on Girls’ Rights
Time for real and inclusive action for our girls!
85% of all girls in Sierra Leone have been victims of one form of abuse or the other
The Enhanced Inclusive Quality Education for all Girls (ENIQUE) project is conducting a Bi-Annual National Dialogue Meeting today (Tuesday, March 1), at the Family Kingdom Complex, Freetown, to discuss risks and opportunities associated with enforcing the rights of girls in Sierra Leone.
The dialogue meeting is expected to bring together government functionaries leading and or supporting the enforcement of the rights of girls, child rights and gender based development partners, legal and judicial services, school community and authorities, law enforcement agencies, amongst others, to deliberate on core issues and share experiences which will support the project.
ENIQUE Girls Project is an advocacy project under the sponsorship of Her Excellency the First Lady and the Distinguished Wife of the Vice President of Sierra Leone to promote the education and development of all girls in Sierra Leone.
The objective of the dialogue meeting is to agree on a high level qualitative and quantitative based data to support the Presidential sponsors to dialogue and engage key actors critical in enhancing the enforcement of girls’ rights in the country.
Girls in Sierra Leone face countless challenges including abuse, early marriage, teenage pregnancy and dropping out of school early. 85% of all girls in Sierra Leone have been victims of one form of abuse or the other; 42% adolescent girls are out of school; 92% of married girls are between 15 and 19 years; teenagers account for over 40% of maternal deaths in the country (SLDHS 2008).
“The development of Sierra Leone will never be truly complete until it is integrated with a transformation of our girls into active partners capable of sustaining our development,” says Nana Bampoe, Project Manager for the ENIQUE Girls Project, adding that both the First Lady and the wife of the Vice President are passionate and determined to turn around the situation of the country’s girls.
“Her Excellency the First Lady and the Distinguished Wife of the Vice President resolutely believe in the promise of a brighter future for Sierra Leone through the empowerment of the girl child. This dialogue meeting is a link in the chain that draws the development of girls closer,” Nana continues, adding that the First Lady believes empowerment of women has to start with the girls.
ENIQUE Girls Project aims at enhancing coordination and collaboration amongst key actors critical to the education and development of girls by harnessing the influence and support of the First Lady and the Wife of the Vice President.
ENIQUE Girls Project works in partnership with Government Functional Networks, Development Partners, School and Communities Leaders, Traditional and Cultural Leaderships to enhance the quality and inclusiveness of education of girls for a sustained national development.
By Ahmed Sahid Nasralla
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