It's been a long and difficult road for Sierra Leone to emerge from the shadows of its decade-long civil war, it's been an even longer journey for Sierra Leonean women to make their voices heard. But now things are changing... When communications officer Antoinette Powell visited some of the communities where they are working, she found that women are not simply speaking out but are beginning to take the lead in building a stronger future for their communities. Sierra Leone's 2007 elections were the first since UN troops withdrew after its civil war. For many women they were also the first in which they felt able to vote for a different candidate from their husbands or fathers. Christian Aid partners - the Methodist Church of Sierra Leone and National Movement for Justice and Development - have been helping to bring about this change by addressing attitudes that see women as less valuable than men. Their work through Partners in Conflict Transformation or PICOT, addressing some of the causes of the country's civil war, is helping groups like women who had no voice in decision-making to speak out and be heard.
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