The Executive Director of Youth Leadership and Advocacy, Project Coordinator for Girls Plus Sierra Leone, Ambassador Mohammed Harass Barrie joined world leaders at the 67th sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA.
Ambassador Barrie, who just graduated with a degree in Social Work from the Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, is one of Sierra Leone’s most active young advocates for children’s, girls, and women’s rights. As an He4She Ambassador, Mr. Barrie has been on the advocacy train for seven years and counting. His advocacy work has, over the years, benefited thousands of girls, youths, and children in Sierra Leone.
Ambassador Barrie is a staunch supporter of girls’ empowerment. As the Coordinator of Girls Plus Sierra Leone, an initiative driven by community-led interventions aimed at providing access to education and information on comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights in Sierra Leone, he has advocated for the empowerment of girls to strengthen their education, financial independence, environmental and societal freedom, etc.
Ambassador Barrie has pioneered and led results-driven Gender-Based Violence (GBV) initiatives in Sierra Leone. These initiatives, led by the young and energetic advocate for change have helped in sensitizing a large portion of the Sierra Leonean population to GBV and its effects in our societies. Ambassador Barrie has been a stern advocate for the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Act of 2022.
His online and offline campaigns on issues like GBV, girls’ empowerment, and children’s rights have been applauded by local and international NGOs and even the Government of Sierra Leone.
As the coordinator for Girls Plus SL, he ensures that the policy framework of the organization aligns with the enacted gender empowerment law in Sierra Leone. Also, he always advocates for 30% of women’s representation in all walks of life.
As one of the leading advocates for the 30% of women’s representation in different workforces, Ambassador Barrie says “The gender empowerment law must not only be applicable in books, but it must be visible and felt in reality.” He continued by saying “It’s our responsibility as pioneers of that initiative to make sure our women and girls are better represented and equipped with the necessary facilities for their growth in society.”
At the United Nations Headquarters in the United States, Ambassador Barrie represented the millions of youths in Sierra Leone whose voices have been muted and whose rights are taken away from them. As proud as he is, sitting amongst men and women of great honor from across the world, Ambassador Barrie said: “Tell me I don’t deserve to be here, and I will show you why I should be here more often.”
Ambassador Barrie is grateful to Purposeful, Girls Plus SL, the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs, and the Government of Sierra Leone for the opportunity to attend the 67th sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA. He hopes to continue his advocacy work in Sierra Leone and uses what he learned from the session to motivate, impact, and empower girls and youths in Sierra Leone.