By Mousa E. Massaquoi,
The Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs Alhaji Moijueh Kaikai has said in Freetown that practicing female genital mutilation on girls under the age of eighteen years is a crime punishable by law.
He made the statement yesterday in Parliament when presenting the motion for the ratification of the AU Protocol to the African Chapter on Human and People’s Rights of Women in Africa dated July 11th 2003 otherwise known as the Moputo Protocol.
The disclosed that Sierra Leone signed the Maputo Protocol on July 11th 2003 with the sole aim to protect and promote the affairs of children and women in the country.
He assured the MPs that if the document is ratified, the government will allow civil, traditional, Muslim and Christian marriages to take place.
SLPP MP, Hon. Emma Koya in her contribution, lauded the government for doing it best to address the issue of women. She pointed out that the document will help to provide funds for the social welfare ministry so that perpetrators of violence against women and children will be brought to justice.
APC MP, Hon. Jariatu Smith, in her contribution pointed out that Centres should be established across the country to cancel victims of sexual harassment, stressing that there should also be rooms to rehabilitate victims.
“When someone has been raped, there is lot of stigmatization from her community which is very disheartening to the victim” she opined.