In New York, African First Ladies launch “hands off our girls” campaign to prevent rape and early marriage

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First Lady of Sierra Leone, Fatima Maada Bio, convened a high level meeting on advancing campaign on the reduction of early marriage and rape in Africa on the margins of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. The event held at the Roosevelt Hotel, New York.

Dr. Hajo Sani with Hadiza Dahiru Abba, Modupeola Adewemimo Oguntade, and Salamatu Gbajabiamila at the event.

Those who spoke at the event included Professor Akinwumi Adesina of African Development Bank, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus of World Health Organization, Dereje Wordofa of UN Population Fund and Julius Maada Bio, the President of Sierra Leone.

The African First ladies launched a campaign “Hands off our girls” and issued a communique containing demands including the rights of women and girls to be equal partners in development, to be seen and heard, to economic empowerment, to universal health care and the right to justice.

“We want the right to live freely from all forms of gender-based violence including early marriage and rape, we stand together to say Hands off our girls” the document revealed.

The President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio and his wife, the First Lady Fatima Maada Bio anchoring the event.

It would be remembered that last year, First Lady of Nigeria, Dr. Mrs. Buhari launched the “Leave our daughters alone” campaign on the aftermath of frequent abductions, rape and violence against women. The event, which held at the National Center for Women Development, Abuja, reverberated around the country and led to a national workshop on gender-based violence.

She was represented at the New York event by Dr. Hajo Sani, Senior Special Assistant to the President as well as other officials.

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