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‘Salone must not pay lip service to women issues’

-UN Women Rep

December 22, 2017 By Emmanuel Okyne

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Dr. Okumu (centre) marched in solidarity with women along Siaka Steven Street yesterday

Country Representative of UN Women in Sierra Leone, Dr. Mary Okumu, has noted that Sierra Leone must not pay lip service to women’s issues as fifty-two percent of the country’s population constitutes women.

She was speaking yesterday at the women’s solidarity march organised by Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) in collaboration with 50/50 Group and Women’s Forum.

The women’s solidarity march took off from Saint John Church to the Cotton Tree, central of Freetown.

Dr. Okumu said women in Sierra Leone need 50/50 representation in governance, adding that they were lobbying for political parties to award symbols to women so that they could have a say in decision-making.

Executive Director of CGG, Valnora Edwin, said the women’s solidarity march was organised in order to raise awareness on the thirty percent quota for women and to draw the attention of various political parties to give symbol to women across the country.

Madam Edwin appealed to political parties not to award symbols to women in areas where their chances of winning are limited, adding that other African countries have given symbols to women who are contributing immensely to governance.

Country Director of Action Aid Sierra Leone, Mohammed Sillah, appealed to the womenfolk to vote for women irrespective of the political party they represent.

He expressed hope that female representation in parliament would increase drastically following the March 2018 elections.

Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Isata Kabia, said that women were up to the task to take up any mantle of leadership.

She asserted that President Ernest Bai Koroma has given a level playing field for women in the country and appealed to other political parties to emulate same.

The minister said the 2015 index on women report showed that they were not doing badly in the area of education.