President of Women's Forum Sierra Leone, Mrs. Maude Peacock, has disclosed members in a short but colourful ceremony that they would present their Women's Manifesto for the 2018 elections to the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC)
She was speaking last Saturday (30 September) at the YWCA hall in Brookfields during a ceremony to welcome five members of the forum who recently returned from pilgrimage to the Holy Land of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Madam Peacock, who chaired the ceremony, told members that the Women's Manifesto for the 2018 elections had been developed in partnership with Campaign for Good Governance, Trocaire and other partners, adding that they would collaborate with other groups like 50/50 Group, MARWOPNET, Campaign for Good Governance, Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs and UN Women.
She revels at the historic feat of the forum having five of its members perform the hajj this year, as she appealed to them to offer prayers for the forum and country.
The five members are: Haja Rugiatu Sesay of Dim Dim organization; Haja Yema Ahmed of Alu-Bayt; Haja Marie Bob Kandeh-Market Women; Haja Adama Kamara of Lokomasama; and Haja Fatmata Falama of Soroptimist International.
Dr. Nana Pratt, who welcomed the pilgrims on behalf of the forum, decribed the event as 'joyous' because the pilgrims went to the hajj, performed all the rituals and returned home safely.
She said the strength of the forum, founded in 1994, lies in its member organisations, and disclosed plans to formulate a campaign strategy for member aspirants vying for elective positions in the 2018 elections, but warned against hate speech.
She also recalled four months ago when the forum received an application form for a three-week training in Leadership and Combating Violence Against Women and Children in Israel, with 26 countries participating and one from Sierra Leone.
"Sally Adams of Women's Forum is one of the successful applicants where over 2,000 people applied; the ticket will be provided by UN Women at a cost of USD2,000", she said, adding that the organisers of the training commended the case study presented by the forum.
Haja Marie Bob Kandeh from Market Women Association thanked the forum on behalf of her colleagues and commended Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs, Dr. Sylvia Blyden, the Government of Sierra Leone and Sierra Leone's Ambassador in Saudi Arabia for the support during their pilgrimage to Mecca, adding that the trip was a challenge.
Two other forum members, Mariama Jusu from Imperri Chiefdom, Bonthe District, declared her intension to contest as MP in Constituency 077 now 092 under the Sierra Leone Peoples Party, while Rosaline Gbao expressed her intention to vie for councillorship in Ward 364, Constituency 106, under the All Peoples Congress party.