Sierra Leone petitioned over ban on pregnant school girls


File image of a pregnant girl
File image of a pregnant girl

In Summary

  • The Sierra Leone Government faces a legal suit over its recent ban on pregnant school girls in school.
  •   Equality Now, an international women's rights agency, filed a case at the Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice seeking to lift the ban.
  •   The case also seeks to hold the Sierra Leone Government accountable for failing to respect, protect, and fulfill girls’ right to education.

The Sierra Leone Government faces a legal suit over its recent ban on pregnant school girls in school.

Equality Now, an international women’s rights agency, filed a case at the Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice seeking to lift the ban.

“Today marks the beginning of the realization of rights for girls in Sierra Leone.

“The ECOWAS court is finally aware of the injustices suffered by girls in Sierra Leone,” said Judy Gitau-Nkuranga from Equality Now.

The case also seeks to hold the Sierra Leone Government accountable for failing to respect, protect, and fulfil girls’ right to education.

Other human rights organizations that want pregnant girls to be allowed in school include the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA).

Addressing a press conference in Bo District on Thursday, the agencies demanded justice saying:

“The girls are being wrongly punished on multiple levels by the government, which denies them access to education and fails to bring to book the perpetrators of sexual violence.”

Equality Now and its partners have been advocating for the ban to be lifted but their attempts have so far bore no fruits despite en engaging the State.

The discriminatory policy came into effect in 2015 just before schools re-opened subsequent to the Ebola crisis.

 

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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