Small, small steps for all sisters in detention: International Women’s Day, 8 March 2011

For many of us, a year can flash by in an instant. But that is not the case for those in prison. Building on the success of last year’s celebration of International Women’s Day, AdvocAid is once again using the day to highlight the plight of girls and women in Sierra Leone who live behind bars or who are at risk of coming into conflict with the law. International Women’s Day, held on 8 March each year, is a day for all women, including those who live on the margins of society. Last year, for the first time in Sierra Leone, AdvocAid used the day to include women in prison. This year, AdvocAid will once again ensure that these women are included. But this time the organization will extend its efforts to include women in prison in the provinces as well as one group of vulnerable women who are at risk of finding themselves in prison – sex workers. Like many of their sisters all over the world, Sierra Leonean women who get caught up in the legal system face significant barriers to accessing justice. Many are poor and illiterate thus understanding little of the system in which they find themselves and unable to afford legal representation. Other women, such as sex workers, experience stigmatization at being in prison and a consequent lack of support from their families and communities. The fate of guilty and innocent alike is often a matter of chance, dependent on whether they are lucky to be called before a magistrate who takes an interest in their case or held by a caring prison officer...

Worlds Behind Walls: AdvocAid – short documentary

A short film introducing AdvocAid’s work providing access to justice and strengthened rights for girls and women in conflict with the law in Sierra Leone. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPHieElCLio] Filmed and edited by Idriss Kpange. Produced by Concept Multimedia. Thanks for doing this great film for us for free!...