Former President of Cape Verde and member of Club of Madrid Antonio Marscarenhas Monteiro has disclosed that “women are an important factor in social change in the whole world”.
Mr Monteiro was speaking yesterday in the fourth session of the African women leaders project on the theme “empowering women for political leadership” at a women’s dialogue at the Atlantic hall National Stadium.
The former President stated that, he was happy to hear various women groups report on the status and participation of women in Sierra Leone.
He maintained that, in most African countries the status of a woman is not brilliant, adding that discrimination, stigmatization and domestic violence still remain common among women.
The member of Madrid Club revealed that, interestingly in Cape Verde there are more girls in primary and secondary school than boys, noting that the girls have advantage than boys.
Mr Monteiro pointed out that, “it is good to strengthen and build the capacity of women and women political candidates.”
Former Ugandan Minister of Ethics and Integrity Honorable Dr Miria Matembe said that, she went into politics because of gender equality.
She added that, “women have been under-represented in government and in Parliament” and this is unacceptable.
The former Ugandan Minister noted that, women have the potential and ability to take active part in decision making but they are still discriminating against them.
Dr Matembe stated that it is important for women to have a vibrant women’s movement in the country to push forward the issues of women.
In her speech the Minister of Social Welfare and Gender Affairs Musu Kandeh said that, literacy has over the period been a mass domain over women.
She added that, one area that women face intimidation and denial of their right is taking part in Chieftaincy.
The Minister stressed that “we have to look at the issue of women globally so that equal opportunity will be given to women.”
Presentations were made by different women groups in the country on their involvement in women activities and the status of women.
The overall objective of the dialogue was to promote and strengthen women’s political participation in Sierra Leone through constructive high level dialogue and also strengthen an advocacy strategy.
The project is funded by the European Union, Club of Madrid, the Canadian International Development, Club of Madrid in partnership with Campaign for Good Governance (CGG). By Abibatu Kamara