SIERRA LEONE: PPRC, Unipsil Support Women in Politics

Thursday, January 13, 2011
Western Africa
Sierra Leone
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

Speaking at the ceremony, acting chairman of the PPRC, Roland Ade Caesar Esq. said bringing all women together to be united in politics was first of its kind in the history of Sierra Leone, noting that women were still underrepresented. This, he said, was the reason why Resolution 1325 of the UN African Charter was advocating for women to be actively involved in politics like their men folks. "It is not only a democratic right for women to be actively involved in politics, it is now a demand since the Beijing Platform in 1996," he observed.

Women of Sierra Leone, the acting PPRC chair noted, have a role to play in helping maintain peace in elections and post elections activities, stressing that the commission will continue to support women in their political drive.

In his statement, PPRC registrar, Abraham John, informed the woman that the purpose of the workshop was for all of them engaged in politics to form a body that will unite and keep them together; meeting from time to time and share honest ideas that will always help to maintain peace and development in the country. According to him, forming an association was not always the important thing to do but maintaining and taking it seriously will heed dividend.

Secretary general of the women's congress in the APC, Hon. Marie Jalloh, said the call by PPRC and UNIPSIL for women to unite for a common cause was a welcome idea as there was need for all of them to be united, as grassroots women need more sensitization. She added that there was the need for more women to be represented in positions of trust.

NDA national women's leader, Isatu Harding, said their party wholly supports the formation of an association of all women in politics despite their diverse political beliefs, especially against the backdrop of intimidation perpetrated by men on women. She called for a complete change of mindset by women that leadership positions were meant only for men.

Francess Howard of the PMDC, in her contribution, said a lot has been done for women to say no to political intimidation and stand firm against all forms of violence but yet little was being done by the authorities to reign in on perpetrators. Women, she added, were also in support of the campaign for a 30% quota in all political representations.

National women's leader of the SLPP, Isata Jabbie Kabbah, said her party was the first to have a gender policy, stating that it was a novelty that should be copied by other parties. She pledged the SLPP's commitment to always work with other political parties and organisations in promoting peace and unity in the country.

Benjamin Jonal, representing the Executive Representative of the Secretary General, said the UN was always ready to support women of Sierra Leone on issues relating to the maintenance of peace and development in the country.