As the local council elections draw closer, the Campaign for Good Governance, in collaboration with the Grassroots Empowerment Movement yesterday started a two-day training workshop for aspiring women from different political parties as well as independent candidates.
Speaking at the opening ceremony at the Kumba Satta Amara Resource Center in Kono under the theme ‘ Empowering Women for Better Governance’, the CGG representative in Kono Tamba ML Kona explained that, the training was meant to draw women together so that they could be taught on issues relating to the local government act of 2004 and that, “this will make women au fait with current happenings especially as they relate to local governance…” He expressed concern that, women in Kono have over the years not been part of the decision making process of the district but that, the reintroduction of local governance in the country in 2004 made women to become part of governance.
Elizabeth Dumbuya of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs in her remarks revealed that, her ministry was fully in support of women contesting the local council election and that, men, over the years have been in politics but much did not come from them. This, she said, must be seen as a reason for supporting female aspirants in the pending local council elections. “With women’s presence in governance, there is hope for women and Kono as a whole”, she said. She also revealed that, this is the first time in the history of Kono district for more women to be seen actively participating in governance issues “and because of this, my Ministry is fully in support of you”, she said. Mammy Finda A Sinna was also another speaker and she called on women not to be intimidated on their campaign by men and promised that, she would be a strong campaigner for women as she would do all her best to ensure women are voted for. She told aspirants present that, she had always been surprised by men even in their traditional settings but this, she said, never discouraged her. Finda Catharine Greenwood Gbekie from GEM in giving an overview of the training said, it was a way of educating women on lobbying techniques and to also educate them on basic principles of the Local Government Act. She encouraged women to be strong in their endeavors. She told aspirants that, governance was all about getting people involved and that party politics should not be allowed to infiltrate development programmes within councils and that councilors should be representatives of the people and must be development oriented.
By John Baimba Sesay