SIERRA LEONE: Women Call for Gender Equality

Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Concord Times
Western Africa
Sierra Leone
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

As the public relations officer of the All Political Parties Women Association, APPWA Gertrude Karimu stated last week that the gender equality draft bill is ready and would be given to the Government Printing Department for printing and gazetting through the Attorney-General's office latest Monday 12, some women have urged stakeholders to allow gender equality in Sierra Leone.

Coordinator of the Women Solidarity Support Group, WSSG, Barbara Bangura, explained that the bill is aimed at reducing teenage pregnancy, enhance women's decision-making power in politics as most women are still lagging behind in decision making, and to make both women and men to compete equally.

"As parliament always makes good laws, we hope this law will be well implemented for the empowerment of women in this country so they can be highly positioned and make good decisions," she said, adding that women should be given winnable seats which will encourage them to contest and fourteen reserved seats for women paramount chiefs.

At the political parties, Bangura said women should be given at least 30% quota to ensure that they are in a good position to make decisions and to increase their roles in politics.

"We need good representation of women in the society with which the vulnerable ones will benefit from at the end of the day. We need good results for their representation in order to minimize teenage pregnancy in the country," she said.

She urged the Political Parties Registration Commission, PPRC to make laws that would hasten political parties to enforce this policy.

"Women should be in winnable seats which will ensure their contesting in the forthcoming elections. Sincerity of political parties is needed and people should understand what the quota is all about and also capable of doing," she said adding that any political party which fails to comply with this law should be sanctioned by the National Electoral Commission.