SEND-SL empowers women leaders across-party lines

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Representatives of various institutions that supports women’s empowerment

By Alhaji Haruna Sani

SEND Sierra Leone, in its pursuit of enhancing the knowledge and skills of women leaders through cross-party consultative engagement, organised a one-day workshop that brought together women from across the country, irrespective of political party affiliations.

The overarching goal of SEND SL is to strengthen capacity, improve opportunities, and advance the empowerment of all female leaders in governance. The event drew participants from various regions of Sierra Leone, bringing together women leaders who share a commitment to contributing to the nation’s development.

Solidarity messages were delivered by representatives from different organizations focused on women’s empowerment and more.

Madam Isata Jabbie Kabbah, Presidential Adviser on Gender Issues, conveyed the  keynote address on behalf of Chief Minister David Sengeh. She emphasised the growing importance of women’s voices in Sierra Leone, echoing President Bio’s commitment to gender equality.

Madam Kabbah highlighted the government’s dedication to promoting gender equality and noted the progressive policies adopted by the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Government for women’s empowerment. She underscored the significance of gender mainstreaming in achieving President Bio’s Feed Salone Agenda and encouraged women to harness the opportunities it presents.

Isata Mahoi, Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs, expressed her commitment to raising the bar for women’s empowerment. She discussed the rebranded Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) Act, emphasising the new map which has three components: a network of female parliamentarians, female councilors, and all women ministers.

“This new map aims to promote cross-party initiatives and help women realize their full potential,” she assured.

Joseph Ayanga, Country Director of SEND Sierra Leone, commended efforts to promote women’s empowerment and challenged women to overcome self-doubt. He emphasized the importance of networking and discussing national development issues beyond tribal or regional considerations.

British High Commissioner, Lisa Chesney, commended Sierra Leone for its strides in promoting women’s empowerment and encouraged women to persevere despite challenges. She highlighted the positive correlation between women’s participation in governance and vibrant democracy, echoing the sentiments of previous speakers.

Carol Hnnon, Head of Development, Embassy of Ireland in Sierra Leone, expressed solidarity and highlighted the harmful practices hindering women’s progress. She pledged Ireland’s support for women’s empowerment and encouraged Sierra Leonean women to seek more support from men.

Representatives from Trocaire, Christian Aid, and the UN Resident Coordinator Office in Sierra Leone expressed their support for the workshop. They encouraged women to prioritise national interests above party lines and emphasized their respective organizations’ commitment to supporting women and gender empowerment.

The President of the 50/50 Group in Sierra Leone pledged support for women’s empowerment and applauded the government and the Gender Minister for the GEWE Act.

She outlined plans for achieving 50/50 representation of women in elective and selective positions by the next general elections in 2028.

The workshop provided a platform for cross-regional engagement, empowering women leaders to collaborate and contribute meaningfully to Sierra Leone’s development. 

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