Kailahun District women in governance network – launch ‘Women’s Manifesto-2012’
Send Foundation of West Africa – Sierra Leone Program in collaboration with the Kailahun District Women in Governance Network, on May 17 this year launched the Kailahun District Women’s Manifesto at the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists Headquarters on 56 Campbell Street, Freetown.
The theme for the program was “No If’s, No But’s – Give More Symbols to Women Now”.
President of the Kailahun District Women in Governance Network, Madame Mariama Gbow said the women in Kailahun District make up half of an estimated 462,000 population but represent less than 5% in governance. Out of the eight parliamentary seats in the district only one is held by a woman, only four out of 29 councilors are women, and only 2 out of the 14 committees in the district council are headed by women.
She said they as women from Kailahun are not ready to be marginalised anymore as they need equal representation in all aspects of governance this time round.
She went on to say that it is because of the above mentioned instances in the district that the network in consultation with all its stakeholders has developed a road map for gender equality in governance and development, dubbed “Kailahun District Women’s Manifesto 2012”.
Madam Mariama Gbow concluded by saying that the network, by this manifesto, will firstly call on the general public to ensure peaceful elections in November, and secondly call on all political parties especially the APC, PMDC and SLPP that the organization has been working with, to give symbols to women candidates in the districts and also incorporate the Kailahun women manifesto into their own political party manifestos. Thirdly the network wants the electorates to vote massively for women symbol holders and political parties whose manifesto demonstrates commitment to pursuing programs for gender equality as mainstreaming women’s needs, aspirations and active participation in development is the surest way to eradicate poverty from any district, town village or the country at large.
The Kailahun District Women in governance network is an umbrella organisation of about 100 group with membership of 5,300 across the 14 chiefdoms in the district; and according to its members, the manifesto represents the voice of all women so as to ensure unity with one voice and to also help in mobilizing the voting population in support of a gender equality agenda by considering the network as a vehicle for women’s participation in politics.
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