Founder and erstwhile president of the gender advocacy group 50-50, said Friday that the manifestos of political parties in Sierra Leone are not gender friendly.
Addressing journalists at the British Council hall in Freetown, Dr. Nemata Eshun-Baiden said the Women's Manifesto would spur political parties to include women's concerns on their agenda.
"The women's manifesto covers women and peace, women and Human Rights, women and democracy, women and poverty, education and training, women and health, sexual and reproductive right, women and the economy, women and the environment including climate change and women and the media," she said, adding that the review also entails the impact of the war on rural women.
Dr. Eshun-Baiden explained that the manifesto was first published in 2002 prior to the general elections, and that it would soon be reviewed by the 50-50 Group in collaboration with the National Organization of Women (NOW) and The British Council.
Dr. Nana Pratt, President of NOW said the manifesto was an instrument, which stakeholders would use as key to understand how gender issues affect men and women.
She said issues bordering on gender-based violence and girls abducted during the war had not been accounted for. She said the manifesto sought to question why violence against women had not diminished even after the war.
Director of British Council, Tom Walsh said the manifesto review was significant, and that council would organize a seminar in February and March to address it.
Walsh noted that the seminar would bring together people from Britain and Sierra Leone to look at issues of gender, democracy and human rights as they relate to the 2007 general elections. He stated that the seminar would encourage Sierra Leonean women to participate in the forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.