By Yusufu S. Bangura
The UN Women Sierra Leone, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Vision and the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs, will officially launch the UN Women Coalition of Women-Focused CSOs today at the Atlantic Hotel, Lumley Beach Road in Freetown.
The launching ceremony follows a three-day high-level event that commenced on Tuesday 17th October.
While giving a brief background about the organisation, Programme Specialist at UN Women, Mariama Jusu-Koiyia, said UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women,and that it is a global champion for women and girls.
She continued that UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting women’s needs worldwide and to support UN member states as they set global standards for achieving gender equality.
She said UN Women works with governments and civil society organisations to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women and girls world-wide.
She disclosed that the project is titled “Localization and Working-Together for Peace: Repositioning Women-Focused CSOs for Sustainable Peace in Sierra Leone.”
She added that the initiative is being implemented at both national and sub-national levels, with a particular focus on six districts-Bombali, Karene, Kono, Pujehun, Western Area Rural, and Western Area Urban.
The UN Women Programme Specialist noted that the project is aimed at strengthening the institutional capacity of Women-Focused CSOs to coordinate their effort in sustaining peace and enhancing the safety and security of women and girls in Sierra Leone.
She added that it also aimed at facilitating the establishment of a coalition of Women-Focused CSOs and networks to make them work together as a collective force to prevent conflict, carry out mitigation efforts as well as promotes equal participation of women before, during and after the elections.
She stated that the launching will bring together core CSOs, women-focused organizations with requisite skills and experiences already working on peace-building and governance to form a strong coalition with a shared vision for sustainable peace and inclusion in elections.
She concluded that they will support the coalition to set up a secretariat in order to ensure that they have the necessary technical and institutional capacity to function and deliver as one coordinated entity.