Salone’s record on women’s rights to face UN scrutiny


By Victoria Saffa

Sierra Leone’s record on women’s rights will be examined by the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on Wednesday 19 February in meetings that will be webcast live from Geneva, Switzerland, a release issued yesterday by the United Nations Human Rights Office disclosed.

Sierra Leone is one of the 187 States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and is required to submit regular reports to the Committee of 23 independent experts on how it is implementing the Convention.

The Committee will engage in a dialogue with the delegation from the Sierra Leonean government on questions relating to the promotion and protection of women’s rights in the country, and will also hear from NGO representatives.

Among the issues likely to be discussed are: women’s access to justice; pending affirmative action bill; female genital mutilation; rehabilitation and reintegration of women and girls who were victims of war; measures to enhance women’s participation in peace building and reconstruction; measures to provide educational and economic alternatives to prostitution; vulnerable situation of women in the informal employment sector.

Meanwhile, CEDAW will hold a press conference at Palais des Nations on 28 February to discuss its concluding observations on Sierra Leone and the other countries being reviewed: Bahrain, Cameroon, Qatar, Iraq, Kazakhstan and Finland.