First Lady of Sierra Leone, Mrs. 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.

Those who spoke at the event include Prof. 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.

At the end of the event, 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.

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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