Excellency the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone Madam Fatima Maada Bio thanked the President for providing her with the space to champion a national campaign of that nature, saying that that was indicative of his commitment to protecting the wellbeing of women and girls in the country.
She commended the Government of her Husband for the motivation to embark on such a laudable campaign. Her Excellency First Lady Fatima Bio narrated an emotional personal story, recalling that, because of their culture, at age 12 a suitor had already been identified for her. She spoke of the ordeal that she went through in trying to challenge that culture, especially with her father.
She also told the audience how she escaped the early marriage by traveling to London. Fatima Bio also said that she was inspired to embark on the advocacy campaign because of the passion of her husband to protect women and girls in Sierra Leone. She narrated that before her husband became President, he would complain to her about many incidents of rape and other forms of violence against girls and women in Sierra Leone.
“I have advocated for women and children since my teenage years. When I met my husband, I fell in love with him and his amazing vision for Sierra Leone. My work revolves around his vision, and I get 100% support from him. For sustainable development, everyone must be empowered, especially our women and children.”She mentioned.
She also called on parents and guardians to provide the required leadership that would enable children to become productive citizens in society. She said early marriage and teenage pregnancy were detrimental to the growth of girls for which she frowned at parents and guardians who had encouraged such practices.