SIERRA LEONE: Women Situation Room for Launch Sept. 21

Monday, September 10, 2012
Western Africa
Sierra Leone
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Peace Processes

The Women Situation Room WSR, with the theme "Peace in our Hands" will be officially launched by President Ernest Koroma on Friday September 21 by 10am at the Family Kingdom.

The Women Situation Room in Sierra Leone which is supported by the UN Women as a room that would comprise mainly of non-partisan female personalities who will sit, receive and analyze information before, during and after the November 17 elections.

It is also a process where all stakeholders including political parties, students, civil society, media practitioners and youths lobby and engage themselves to commit and act actively to promote peaceful elections.

The room is a concept of Angie Brooks International Centre and has been implemented by the Liberia Women Peace Leaders and Activists during their 2011 elections with President Johnson Sirleaf as the champion of the room.

It was also replicated in Senegal, and in Sierra Leone it will be in all the 12 districts and the Western Rural and Urban areas.

Some of the essential activities to be conducted include setting up of the physical room, media coverage, stressing the importance of the Women Situation Room, training of youth leaders, women's district pressure groups and training and deployment of elections observers.

At a meeting held on Thursday September 6 at the YWCA old hall at Rasmusson Street, UN Women Country Representative, Melrose Kargbo, said the implementation of the WSR has its provision in the UN Security Council's Resolution 1325 on Women.

She also said that the international community is watching the role of women in the elections adding that it is a year of election where women are saying no to violence in the elections. "We have to take violence out of Sierra Leone by force," she stressed and highlighted some of the key activities that would follow the launching of the WSR citing the sensitization and training of youths and women in various districts.

Vice chairperson of the WSR, Haja Alari Cole, told participants that they have met with several political parties and stressed the need to work hard for the WSR to be a success.

She further said that they have also met with the Inspector General of Police, Francis Munu, who welcomed the setting up of the room and expressed the willingness to collaborate with the WSR during the electioneering period.

She also mentioned her group's meeting with NATCOM, NRA and other institutions and committees. The Communications Officer for UN Women, Emma Vincent, said various positions have been advertised for professionals such as communications officer, web designers, video reporters and programme assistants to come on board for the setting up of the room.

Also in attendance was Ms. Barbara Bangura, the National Consultant for WSR, who worked relentlessly to ensure the formation of the WSR in collaboration with the UN Women.