Girl Champion is Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs for a day

Friday 4 November 2022

Aminata and Minister Tarawallie pose on minister’s desk on the International Day of the Girl 2022, Photo Credit; MoGCA

On the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl Child, Save the Children girl champion, Zainab Bangura, was made Minister of Gender and Children’s affairs for one day. In her capacity as Minister Zainab delivered a speech to the nation and children as well as attend some high-level meetings for the ministry.

Zainab is Public Relations Officer of the Children’s Forums Network (CFN) and has championed several Save the Children activities. She was one of the adolescents that produced and  led the COVID-19 sensitization radio program supported by Save the Children.

 In her statement to the Sierra Leone people, she acknowledged that the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at the World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, was the most progressive blueprint for advancing the rights of not only women but also girls.

This great day was earmarked as a day to advocate for the rights of girls to realize our rights; such as the right to live free from violence, to attend and complete school, to choose when and whom we marry, to participate in any decision making, and for women to earn equal pay for equal work in an effort to achieve our fullest potential as we grow.

She highlighted the mandate of the ministry and praised the government for amending the 2007 Child Rights Act; now at the law officer’s department and; for making strides to strengthen protection mechanisms for children in the country.

The Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs has also reviewed the Adoption Act of 1989 which is currently being validated, and they have also developed a Street Children Strategy for the protection of all children against abuse.

She rounded off the day with a meeting with her peers where they discussed plans to raise awareness on the many issues that are hindering children’s growth.

Speaking of her one-day leadership, Zainab said the experience not only boosted her confidence, it made her even more determined to work harder to be somebody in the future.

Giving children a platform to engage and experience decision making not only inspires them to aim high it also gets them to start thinking of how they can be change agents as children for children.