50/50 Group boosts Regent women
On Wednesday 18th August 2010, the President of the 50/50 Group of Sierra Leone, Haja Saiminatu Kassim officially handed over a one year project funded by the TROCAIR, an international organization devoted to seeking justice for all.
The handing over ceremony took place at the Regent Community Hall.
The Phase 2 TROCAIR project, titled `Women’s Participation in Supporting Good Governance and Decision-making at All Levels in Sierra Leone” would last for one year.
The project will also address women’s illiteracy by conducting classes in order to build their capacity for them to become enlightened women in politics.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the chairperson of the occasion, Councilor Mrs. Modu Conteh, who doubles as the First Vice President of the 50/50 Group, expressed delight about the project, adding that the TROCAIR project would help broaden the knowledge of women, enhance their capacity and develop their confidence in order to meet the 30% quota required for their involvement in politics.
Councillor Conteh advised women to take the project seriously as it contains lot of packages including that of training which would be of great benefit to them. “As the saying goes, better education will lead to progressive democracy,” she said, stressing that progressive democracy was the dream of Sierra Leonean women which she said can be achieved when women are fully involved in the decision-making process.
She emphasized that the 50/50 Group is not a political group, but one that was formed to give voice to women in Sierra Leone.
On his part, the Chief Administrator, Western Rural District Council, Alhaji Bangura congratulated the group for it strides in promoting the cause of women since the formation of the organization early in 2000.
He said he was very passionate about women’s issues especially when it concerns their rights and their involvement in decision-making.
Mr. Bangura recalled that since 1995 when he started working in the civil service he has been working in the interest of women, having worked in the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, adding that women should now take their rightful place in society.
He cited countries such as Rwanda where women form the majority in parliament. “So, Sierra Leonean women should work towards that,” he urged them.
The C.A noted that the international community is eyeing all African countries in their methods of governance, especially in the area of mainstreaming issues relating to decision making.
He encouraged women to know that they have a stake in the development of the country and therefore must not sit and allow men to take the front seat in taking decisions for them.
He called on women to embrace one another and avoid the pull-him-down syndrome amongst themselves if only to achieve their goals.
While formally handing over the project to the Regent women, the 50-50 Group President, Haja Kassim inspired the women to stand up for their rights, noting that they can only be aware of their rights when they are educated.
She therefore encouraged them to get a bit of training through workshops as training is an important component of the project.
She admonished women to be God-fearing and have respect for their men and worship Allah especially in this only month of Ramadan.
She thanked the government for passing into law the three Gender Acts prominent among them being the one on marriage which she said gives total protection to women.
She told her audience that the 50/50 Group is working towards having a female president for this country, stressing further that women don’t need university education to take part in polities, but that through training they will know how to take part in politics and become respectable people in their communities.
She applauded the government for initiating the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which will promote transparency and accountability in governance.
The 50/50 Group of Sierra Leone is women’s organization that is working towards the total involvement of women in politics.
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