November 23, 2017 By Dusuba Koroma
The All Political Parties Women’s Association (APPWA) yesterday concluded their 4th National Delegate Conference at the Family Kingdom, where they discussed relevant issues, including increase in women’s empowerment.
Representatives from all the fourteen registered political parties gave their input as to why it is important for women to come together and speak with one voice for better representation in the political arena.
Delegates noted that though women make-up 51% of the country’s population, they are currently occupying 15 out of the 124 seats available in the House of Parliament.
At the end of the conference, delegates, being supervised by the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), unanimously endorsed executive members for the next two years. National Women’s Leader of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Augusta James-Tema, emerged as the new President of APPWA. She succeeds Elizabeth Mans, National Women’s Leader of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC), who had led them for the past four years.
In her victory statement, Madam James-Tema thanked delegates for giving her the responsibility to lead as the country braces up for next year’s elections.
“I see my new role as President as just a continuation of what I have been doing as Secretary General of APPWA. Let me appreciate the relentless effort of the Political Parties Registration Commission over the years,” she declared.
She promised to look into some of the issues the outgone executive were not able to accomplish with a view of finding ways to resolve them and move forward with one voice as an association.
According to her, many women in Sierra Leone have not seen the need to be active in politics because reasons such as discrimination and denial of space to be heard by political party leaders.
She promised to work assiduously in ensuring better representation for women in politics, while calling for support from members in order to achieve their goals.
Madam James–Tema applauded the work of the outgone executive and urged APPWA members to rally round the new executive for a better association.
Earlier, outgone President Elizabeth Mans said APPWA has stayed focus as an association even through difficult times, adding, “As women we need to move on and pave our own ways. We form the bulk of the country’s population. Women have the ability to do greater things.”