The 50/50 group, in collaboration with the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), yesterday started countrywide civic and voters’ education for all Sierra Leonean women.
At a press conference at the British Council hall in Freetown the group‘s past President, Dr Nemata Eshun- Baiden, said during a recent completed baseline survey in Koinadugu and Kailahun districts, in northern and eastern Sierra Leone, some women attested that they only voted in past elections because they were told to do so by their husbands or local authorities.
She noted that others did not even vote as they thought their husbands who were heads of their families could vote on their behalf.
The past president stated that the organisation would also sensitize women about their right through radio and television stations throughout the country in various dialects.
Dr Eshun- Baiden maintained that empowering women for participation in the election through voters’ education “is definitely necessary as overcoming social, systemic and attitudinal obstacles and creating an equal role for women in public life are long term challenges that the group is set up to address”.
In her statement the minister of Health and Sanitation, Abator Thomas, said “people are not concerned about the issues of women which is very frustrating”.
She pointed out that, “women are very important in the voting process and so they need to be empowered”.
The minister disclosed that the voters’ education training would target women who found themselves in the grassroots level.
The president of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) who chaired the occasion, Alhaji Ben Kargbo, said the media had an important role on the issues of disseminating information about women in the country.
He added that, “women are also important in the election process,” and urged media practitioners to have interests in women’s issues.