State House, Freetown, Tuesday 11 May 2021 - The New Executive and Advisory Board of Women's Forum Sierra Leone, WFSL, have stopped at State House to introduce their executive members to His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio and spoke about their engagements to influence national policies.
Minister of Gender and Children's Affairs, Manty Tarawalli, said she was happy to introduce the new leadership and board members, adding that the President had agreed to meet them as a show of his continued commitment to holding women's issues in high esteem. She praised the outgone executive for their great leadership during their tenure.
Gender Affairs Minister, Manty Tarawalli
The President of WFSL, Sallay Adams, said that their mission as an organisation was to influence national policies through an active network of women groups, institutions and NGOs, adding that their motto was 'Solidarity for Empowerment, Quality and Development'.
"The Women's Forum SL was established in February 1994 in response to the need for the nationwide network of women's non-governmental organisation that will take collective decisions and actions for the overall advancement of women and girls throughout the country. Currently, there are 350 organisations registered with the Forum at regional, district and chiefdom levels," she noted.
Madam Sallay thanked President Bio on behalf of the organisation for his relentless efforts at empowering women and girls in the country, citing the state of emergency on gender-based violence, appointment of women as ministers, deputies and heads of parastatals.
In his remarks, President Bio welcomed the women and expressed hope that such close engagements and collaboration would become regular interactions in which his Government would seek the views of women on all aspects of governance and policymaking.
"I always tell my personal story that I am who I am today because I was raised by strong women who not only nurtured me with love but persistently supported me and guided me in making the right choices. So, for me, I trust the judgement, perspectives, thoughts of women. Women are always there; women are always right," he said.
He concluded by saying that he was personally concerned about and with all acts of violence against women, adding that that was why he declared the national emergency on rape and sexual violence.
"I have strengthened laws. The judiciary has set up courts and we are now convicting more and punishing more. I am ready to take action to protect women in every way," he assured.