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MINISTRY OF GENDER AND CHILDREN’S AFFAIRS UPDATE-

The Deputy Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs, Buakai Bindi Hindowa, in his presentation outlined the Ministry’s policy and strategies to achieve Cluster 5 of the Medium Term National Development Plan (MTNDP).

The mandate of the Ministry is to develop policies and legal framework relating to issues of women and children under the age of 18 are fully implemented.

The Ministry is providing leadership for Cluster 5 – empowering women and children as indicated in 5.1 and 5.2 respectively.

Cluster 5.1 entails the overall promotion of women empowerment in political, social, economic and cultural spheres.

Cluster 5.2 seeks to ensure a child-first approach for the survival, protection and development of children including disable and vulnerable children, and prioritizing the best interest of the child all the time.

The Government of Sierra Leone has revised and strengthened the Sexual Offenses Act 2012. We now have the Sexual Offenses (Amendment) Act 2019 with robust penalties and operation mechanism put in place for its implementation.

There is a 116 free hotline for Sexual Gender Based Violence.

The Ministry has set up six (6) one stop centers in the KingHarman Road Government Hospital, Port Loko, Koinadugu, Kailahun, Moyamba and Pujehun.

The Ministry also established the Sexual Offenses Model Court within the Judiciary to fastrack Sexual Offenses related matters.

The Child Act 2007 is currently undergoing review as approved by cabinet. The process is expected to be concluded before the end of 2021.

The Ministry and its partners are at an advanced stage in developing a Gender Equality Bill. This Bill will include political empowerment (appointment and elective), economic empowerment through access to Finance. Once Cabinet approves the Bill, due process will be followed on to its tabling in parliament for enactment.

The Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy 2020 was adopted by the Government of Sierra Leone. The policy was launched by His Excellency the President Dr Julius Maada Bio.

The National Street Child Strategy 2021 has been drafted by the Ministry and ready for printing and dissemination in the shortest possible time.

With the establishment of the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs, a National Gender Strategic Plan, is currently under consideration that will cover Gender and Children’s Affairs.

NACOVERC UPDATE-

There are 5887 cumulative cases as of 8th July 2021.

Western Area is the epicenter of the Corona virus in Sierra Leone. Western Urban 59% and Western Rural 16%.

Death rate is 109 as of 8th July 2021.

There is a 44% decrease in Covid-19 cases. This week has seen a drop in cases but Nacoverc encourages citizens not to let their guard down.

Hand washing, wearing of face mask and social distancing still remain pivotal in the fight against Covid-19.

Vaccines are safe and efficient with Pharmacy Board approval. Citizens are encouraged to take the vaccines.

There are 488 beds in all treatment centers with bed occupancy of 46%.

Nacoverc extends thanks and appreciation to health workers and other essential workers for their invaluable contributions towards the fight against Covid-19.

Nacoverc discourages negative publicity against the vaccines as misinformation is as deadly as the virus itself.

The Delta variant is in Sierra Leone and citizens are warned to follow all precautions.

Get vaccinated and stay safe.

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