Rapid development without gender equity would be not but a piper’s dream; against this backdrop the Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) has started a dialogue to identify and validate the priority policies and concerns for women in local councils.
In his keynote address during the official launch of the programme, which was sponsored by Christina Aid, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Dauda Suleiman Kamara said, “Local government has assumed a new dimension in governance in this country. This is why I’m pleased that, that idea has captured the mind of CGG.”
Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Musu Kandeh commended CGG’s initiative in sensitizing women Councilors and their women Ward Committee Members on concept and issues that affect gender inequalities in their duty to effect good governance in the respective Wards, Chiefdoms and Districts.
She explained that through the club of Madrid last year, “CGG made several interventions in Sierra Leone in helping to promote women become aware of their own initiative and rights, to take part in decision making in the political field.”
“In the last local government elections we witnessed an increase in the number of women in almost three folds in Districts and Chiefdoms” she said.
CGG National Coordinator, Valnora Edwin explained the different problems faced by women in Sierra Leone as a result of the gender insensitive nature of the local governance structures.
This, she explained, has resulted to Councilors and Ward Development Committee Members been unable to raise issues of gender equality thereby mobilizing consensus at Council level for redress.
Christian Aid representative, Kadie Jumu emphasized government’s seriousness with regard to issues of gender concerns.
She highlighted President’s Koroma commitment which he made in October this year to prioritize gender issues in his agenda.
Jumu stressed the need to capacitate women in local government, noting that there are huge roles that women played that are not accounted for. She hugged that substantial amount of the 2008 National budget be apportioned towards gender issue, and encouraged government to crate an enabling environment for the participation of women in the creation of key policy development. Chairperson of the dialogue, Battu Jambawai congratulate CGG for the scheme
By Ophaniel Gooding