Some 20 women from Kono district and the Western Rural Area have received training on breaking barriers and empowering women to participate in democratic politics.
The three-day training, which ran from 7 to 9 October 2010, was organized by the 50/50 Group of Sierra Leone in partnership with TROICARE at the Western Area Rural District Council hall, Waterloo.
President of 50/50, Haja Siaminatu Kassim, called on women to work together as they can no longer afford to lag behind. She said men know the barriers but that women, as "ministers of finance", can manage their finances well.
"Whatever training you receive, train other women so that they can participate in the democratic process," she urged and called on the participants to make good use of the training.
Giving an overview of the training, ex-president of 50/50, Mrs. Harriet Turay said the exercise was a warming-up session for 2012 as the group leads in women's participation in politics.
She said most of the participants had participated in the pilot project in Regent and Kono, thus encouraging them to identify the barriers and strive to break them. The former 50/50 president said women should be trained on how to talk in public, an area she said they shy away. "Women should be trained on how to compete with their men counterparts," she stressed.
Deputy Chief Administrator of the Western Rural Council, Mohamed Badamasi Kamara said the training was good as participants were able to share ideas.
He said he had been a strong critic of 50/50 but that from what he had seen the group was doing a good job to raise the status of women as compared to what obtained in the past.
"If women cannot defend their colleagues who else can do it," he asked.
Kamara maintained that on the issue of good governance women should be the caretaker, thus reminding them about their responsibility to train others from what they had benefited.
The women were trained on human rights and women's rights to participate in politics and democratic governance; how to advocate for the 30% quota; leadership and team building skills and advocacy and activism.
The training was funded by DFID.