7 December 2017

Sierra Leone: Hopes of Women Dashed As 30 Percent Quota Abandoned

Sierra Leoneans are preparing to go back to the polls for the first time since the 2012 elections, pictured here.

Women's groups in the country have expressed dissatisfaction with President Ernest Bai Koroma's failure to fulfil his promise to ensure that women acquire thirty percent quota in all aspects of governance in Sierra Leone.

In 2010 President Koroma, during celebrations to mark International Women's Day in Moyamba Town, Southern Sierra Leone, apologised to women in the country for ills done to them over the years. He promised his government was committed to giving women the 30% quota, but the said promised paradise has turn out to be a complete mirage.

During a presser yesterday at the National Electoral Watch (NEW) offices in Freetown, President of 50-50 Group Dr. Fatu Taqi said the women of Sierra Leone were disappointed that President Ernest Bai Koroma has reneged on his promise with the dissolution of parliament today without the bill being enacted for the 30% quota for women's participation and inclusion in politics.

She noted that ever since the president came into office, he has on a number of occasions promised government's commitment to award the minimum 30% quota representation to ensure that women's voices are heard at the highest levels of decision-making.

"As we move towards the 2018 elections, and as the president is about to leave office, the aspirations of women for this elections have been dampened and we acknowledge the positive strides that the president has made in supporting educational achievements for girls and the appointment of female ministers of government and other formal positions," she averred.

She however expressed disappointment that the president's goodwill does not extend to fundamental changes in the law that would undo women's historic marginalisation in governance.

Madam Taqi urged the president to take all necessary steps to make good on his promise before he leaves office in March next year.

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