His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio launched One Stop Centres to help tackle Sexual and Gender Based Violence targeting women and girls in the country.
Speaking during the virtual event, the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Hu Zhangliag, applauded President Bio and his government for waging war on sexual and gender based violence on women and girls.
He also thanked colleague partners in development, especially UN Women, for its remarkable support to the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs towards establishing One Stop Centres in Sierra Leone.
“I’m convinced that the One-Stop Centres will provide a working platform for advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in the country that will lead to the realization of development. His Excellency the President of China Xi Ping is always ready to continue with the strong bilateral agreement between China and Sierra Leone in terms of development. Last month the First Lady of the People’s Republic of China donated medical equipment to the Government of Sierra Leone as help to fight COVID-19. And over the years the Chinese government has been engaging the Government of Sierra Leone to improve on health services. The Chinese Government will continue working with UN Women to provide support for One-Stop Centres in Sierra Leone. I do appreciate the efforts of President Bio and the people of this country for their contributions in one way or the other towards national development and the fight against Corona.” Also to shower praises on President Bio for his astute, proactive and visionary leadership was Dr. Mary Okunu, the Representative of UN Women in Sierra Leone.
While giving the vote of thanks, she appreciated the efforts of President Bio and Gender Minister Madam Manty Tawaraly for their brilliant initiative in establishing the One-Stop Centres that seek to put a definite end to sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls in Sierra Leone.
She furthered that due to the commitment of President Bio to end SGBV, there is a strong relationship between the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs and development partners in terms of supporting government to promote the dignity of women and girls.
“His Excellency the President’s exemplary leadership especially by declaring the State of Emergency on Rape in February 2019, paved the way for an urgent review of the Sexual Offences Act in 2019 that has increased penalties for convicted person(s) of sexual penetration and rape. We applaud the President and his government and specially thank the Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs for demonstrating quality leadership in ensuring that One Stop Centres are set up in six districts and launched,” she noted.
Dr Okunu pointed out that the One-Stop Centres will render services to survivors when the time arises and profusely thanked the Ministry of Information and Communications for disseminating information on SGBV to citizens.