Last month, Sierra Leone’s parliament enacted three laws that give women unprecedented rights. One human rights coalition said the new laws will “help to radically improve the legal position of women in Sierra Leone.
Jasmine Fofana is the first vice-president of the Mano River Peace Network and a commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone. From Kenema, in South Eastern Sierra Leone, she explained to Akwei Thompson the wide-sweeping nature of the new laws.
“We have new rights relating to women’s rights for marriage, domestic violence and laws that protect women from all kinds of psychological, economic and emotional abuse….”
She said the law makes no distinction between educated and uneducated women: “I think uneducated women, like educated women, have been suffering from the discrimination and from the negative impact of the existing law….”
Jasmine Fofana added that “…not only just women; men also will benefit from the protection of people under the new statute.”