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15th August 2018

Unpopular Speech: Educated Women have Fewer Children and are Healthier - Bio!

By Abu Shaw in London (19/04/18)

Has President Maada Bio's speech in London alluding that 'educated women with fewer children have healthier children' a miscalculation?


So it seems considering the negative reactions reaching newspaper from Sierra Leoneans especially uneducated women. In the aftermath of President Bio's maiden speech at the Commonwealth Women's Forum in London, many Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad think their president has made a gross miscalculation in implying that only educated women have healthier children.

In a press statement from State House Media Unit, the SLPP government has plans outlined to achieving 12 years of quality education for all girls by 2030 in Sierra Leone, according to President Maada Bio when addressing the Commonwealth Women's Forum at the Queen Elizabeth 11 Conference Centre in London.

At a meet in London organised by the Commonwealth Women’s Forum on Tuesday 17th April 2018 on the theme: Towards a Common Future - An Empowered Future for Women and Girls, President Bio noted that Education creates vast opportunities for any country to reduce unfair income distribution, increase choices for all and create a strong ladder of opportunities for all. "We all agree that education creates awareness and helps to sustain democracy and peace," Bio stressed.

Amongst the benefits of educating girls, President Bio also mentioned that educating girls delivered large health benefits as educated women have fewer children and the children they do have are healthier. He went on: “I therefore commit my new Government to deliver 12 years of good quality education by 2030. I commit to ensuring that Girls, Children with Disability and other Disadvantaged Groups have Equal Opportunities to complete the full cycle of Primary and Secondary Education.”

“I am making this commitment to Action because I firmly believe that Free education is the bedrock for sustainable development and long-term peace. By this Action we are fulfilling the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4, i.e “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning,” President Bio ended.

The 2030 new vision for Education is part of the Girls’ Education Framework working towards ensuring that girls in Commonwealth receive quality education and have the skills they need to lead and succeed. The commitment by President Bio demonstrates the seriousness his Government attaches not only to education but specifically to girls’ education.

Independent observers view this assertion by the Sierra Leone President as terribly unfortunate and a blatant disregard for uneducated women, many of whom have many children and many also have very few children. What president has failed to grasp is the fact that children of uneducated women are as healthier as children of educated women.

The speech writers and State House advisers ought to know better than putting the Sierra Leone President and country in this ridiculous situation. Medical experts know that having more children does not mean that the children are less healthier, especially if medical facilities for midwifery are easily available and affordable for pregnant women.

"It is no respect to say only educated women have healthier children! What about children from mothers who are not educated? Is President Bio telling me that those children are not healthier?," Susan Bockarie, an uneducated petty trader at Maxwell Khobe Street Market in Kenema asked angrily.

Mrs Mariatu Sesay, an educated wife with five children in Freetown did not mince her words: "President Bio, whom I voted for, should be careful what he says because as far as I'm concerned what he said in London is wrong and discriminatory against women who did not go to school."


1958 -1980


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