The Leader and Chairman of the main opposition, Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin (JOB) has called on President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to honor his promise he made to the women of Sierra Leone for their 30% quota in governance and civil service.
Mr. Benjamin made this call in his address at the delegate conference of the All Political Party Women's Association (APPWA) at the Bo City Hall in Bo.
Subsequently, in an exclusive interview with the Awareness Times, Mr. Benjamin said the All People's Congress Government of President Koroma has no intention of empowering women. He said all governmental institutions such as the police, military, the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooperation (SLBC), the Youth Commission and many others are headed by men.
The Chairman went on that the APC has only five female parliamentarians while the SLPP though in opposition, has a total of nine (9) female parliamentarians. He also said that the Kabbah led SLPP Government, during their tenure of office, had more female ministers than the current APC Government.
Benjamin further revealed that come 2012 elections the SLPP has designed plans to have far more females contesting for Parliament. He further revealed that there is also a gender policy in the SLPP which mandates the allocation of more power to women, adding that it was in line of this policy that warranted the SLPP to quickly allow their female politicians to be members of APPWA.
According to JOB, the SLPP sees APPWA as fighting a genuine cause, further noting that they in the SLPP believed in political tolerance and unity among women irrespective of their political ideology. He emphasized that the role of APPWA is very much crucial in propagating unity and that it fosters women's participation in governance and the civil service at all levels.
Finally, the SLPP Leader assured his party's commitment to supporting the implementation of APPWA.