April 30, 2015 By Lucien Momoh
Chairman of the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), Justice Maitland Emeric Tolla Thompson, has challenged members of the All Political Parties Women Association (APPWA) to aim above the 30% quota they have been clamouring for in governance. Men and women, he said, are the same and that they should work together for the betterment of Sierra Leone, adding that there are capable women as well as men in the country.
Justice Thompson admonished the women to come together as a unified force and avoid petty jealousy amongst them. He assured the association of his commission’s support as their doors are always open to them for consultations and advice.
Moreover, the PPRC boss also assured the All Political Parties Association (APPA) and the All Political Parties Youth Association (APPYA) of his commission’s support.
In his statement, Chairman of the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC), Justice Edmond Cowan, congratulated the women for a great work done during the two days exercise. He informed them that not all of their recommendations will be incorporated into the amended constitution but will be followed up in other legislations that already exist.
He appealed to the women to take the information gathered and recommendations made down to other women for their inputs.
Justice Cowan urged the women to engage and encourage other women nationwide to discuss key issues in the constitution. He appealed to all to ensure that the amended constitution becomes a symbol of equality, empowerment, respect, dignity, accountability and humility.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Technical Adviser, Sana Baloch, said he was impressed with the inputs and commitment of the women of APPWA throughout the entire process. “The ball is in the court of the women who should put together a position paper with clear recommendations,” he said. “This should be presented to the CRC for action.”
Baloch assured the women of UNDP’s continued support towards their activities in Sierra Leone.
The facilitator of the session, Minority Leader of Parliament Dr. Bernadette Lahai, said “all these will be achieved if there is the political will at all levels”.
Group work and presentations on political participation, socio-economic empowerment and gender discrimination formed the highpoints of the two days exercise.