The Women's Leader of the People's Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), Madam Rosalyn McCarthy has told the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation's Women's Programme hosted by Haja Kadi Johnson yesterday August 25th 2010 that “the APC has disappointed us”. Pressed further as to what she meant, she explained that when the PMDC was signing the alliance with the ruling All People's Congress three years ago, they outlined certain policies that it was expected the APC-led Government would strictly abide with and one of these, she said concerned Women's issues.
Lamentably however, she opined that President Koroma and the ruling APC have let the Women of Sierra Leone down and reneged on the promises they uttered during the signing of the alliance with her party, the PMDC especially with respect to the issues of Women's Rights & Equality.
The outspoken PMDC Women's Leader said President Koroma seemed to be paying mere lip service to Women's issues especially with respect to the issue of 30% Quota representation in positions of governance. She expressed sadness that the country only had one female Cabinet Minister out of over twenty males. She said the words spoken by President Koroma in Moyamba this year during his Apology to the Women of Sierra Leone were yet to be translated into substantial deeds.
She however issued a subtle threat that come 2012, the men of Sierra Leone might get a surprise as they might find themselves in the kitchen with the Women taking the leading roles in the country as according to her, she said the Women of Sierra Leone were currently galvanising themselves into a formidable force with one agenda.
In reaction, the Editor-in-Chief of the APC mouthpiece We Yone Newspaper told Awareness Times last evening that on the contrary, President Koroma has kept to his word and promises to the Women of Sierra Leone. Mr. Cornelius Deveaux opined that President Koroma gave the country the first female Chief Justice and first female Brigadier within one year of taking up office. He said President Koroma will soon rectify the gender imbalance in his Cabinet which he said was not caused by fault of the President. However, in contrast, he said if the Women of Sierra Leone looked closely at the hierarchy of the Judiciary as it currently stands, they will realise that “Women are running the Judiciary today as we have four out of seven Supreme Court Judges being Women elevated by President Koroma like Shahineh Taqi and Salamatu Koroma as well as Appeals Court Judges elevated like Adeliza Showers and Vivian Solomon”.
The APC strongman also said the free health care for pregnant and suckling mothers was another means of empowering the Women of Sierra Leone by President Koroma.
Deveaux also tried to give credit to President Koroma for the controversial re-assenting to Gender Bills which had been first assented to by President Kabbah.
“Remember that as soon as he took office, the President assented to enacted Gender Bills to favour Women's Empowerment. His Excellency President Ernest Koroma is committed to his promises and he is acting out his promises and this is very clear,” Deveaux opined.