. WOMEN’S EQUALITY .
An article by By Ophaniel Gooding in Awoko
A two-day national conference with the theme “the women’s forum we have the woman’s forum we need” concluded with the authoring of a communique by representatives of women’s group nationwide. The national conference which was organized by Campaign for Good Governance and the Women’s Forum Sierra Leone is to strengthen and reinforce the “Women’s Forum Sierra Leone and celebrating our Silver Jubilee of women’s movement,” said Maude R. Peacock the president of Women’s Forum Sierra Leone.
Photo from the facebook page of the Women’s Forum Sierra Leone
This conference, funded by Trocaire, brought together women and women’s community based groups and Civil Society Organizations, across the sixteen Districts, with the aim of examining the strengths, opportunities and challenges affecting the women’s movement in our country; Reaffirming that ‘Women’s Rights are Human Rights’ and the fundamental rights of all as enshrined in Chapter 3 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, including the elimination of all forms discrimination against women.
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CGG Executive Director, Marcella Samba explained that effective women’s participation in the democratic processes of any developing country is the foundation for good governance, gender equality and sustainable development; Reminding the Government of Sierra Leone of its duty to protect and promote the rights and advancement of women and girls in Sierra Leone. She applauded the efforts made over the past years by the various women and women led organizations to promote women’s advancement, empowerment and access to basic socio-economic services, despite the challenges. Also, appreciated the efforts and invaluable contributions made by the older women generation and urging the younger women generation to join the Women’s Movement, with particular focus on making Sierra Leone a better place for all.
President of 50\50 group Dr Fatou Taqi acknowledged the challenges hampering the effective functioning, networking and collaboration of the Women’s Movement from having a formidable voice for change and transformation.
YWCA Sierra Leone National President, Bondu Manyeh welcomed the new initiative of self- assessment and internal reform. Some of the recommendations in the communique were to ensure the promotion and strengthening of intergenerational dialogue among women and women’ groups across the country, and reinvigorate all aspects of the Women’s Forum Sierra Leone. Also to develop and implement a clear road map of the roles and responsibilities of the Women’s Forum of Sierra Leone and member organizations, and that emphasizes participation, communication, and empowerment of women. To promote the culture of peace and tolerance among the various women’s groups to improve interpersonal relationships and to solidify and achieve their economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights. Also to Provide capacity building of women for women’s groups for gender engagement and civic participation on a continuous basis. However, some of these recommendations are expected to be actualized within a 5 years time span, disclosed CGG Program Director, Bernadette French