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Research on women’s political participation launched

Research on women’s political participation launched

The Gender Research and Documentation Centre and the Political Science Departments of the University of Sierra Leone in collaboration with the 50/50 Group of Sierra Leone will formally launch a research project on interrogating young women’s political participation in post-war Sierra Leone on 6 June 2011 at the Mary Kingsley Theatre, Fourah Bay College in Freetown.

In her opening remarks, the Chairperson Mrs. Nemata Majeks-Walker, who is also the president of the 50/50 group said the project facilitated funding from the IDRC in Canada.

She said if Sierra Leone is to make a turnaround, it requires the fullest participation of all women, especially young women in politics.

She went on to say that the research is borne out of their shared desire to transform this country, and that they have chosen to accelerate this transformation by launching a project that tackles the issues of interrogating young women’s participation in politics.

She assured all that by the end of the project they will be able to access more young women into politics.

In his path, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone, Professor Jonas Redwood Sawyer said the 50/50 group has come a long way in advocating for the rights of women and the 50 percent quota in politics.

He noted that the group has also produced a directory of female professionals in Sierra Leone and said the number of female professionals has increased tremendously over the years.

He maintained that in keeping their mission and vision they have now collaborated with the Gender Research and Documentary Centre and the Political Science Department in their research work.

He added that they will continue to collaborate and network with other partners until the 50/50 representation is achieved.

The Minister of Gender and Children Affairs, Dennis Sandy said that his Ministry and Government have come a long way to ensure that the voices of women are heard in politics and decision making forums.

He said the President has given consent to the 50 percent quota for women and that women, who are presently working on the 50 percent quota are laying the foundation for the young women coming up.

He said women are now focused on gender equality, but must be assured of education if they are to fit into political positions.

By Femi Coker

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