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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ready Set.....Let The Campaigning Begin! Top 4 ways Sierra Leonean Women Are Changing the November 2012 Elections

 Elections Roll Call;  Who Runs Sierra Leone? Women! But You Knew That Already.....Sierra Leonean women are bringing a new meaning to what elections are in the country and at a critical turning point for the country, women are ensuring that their voices are heard and accounted for.  To kick off WCA’s version of election campaigning, what better way than to celebrate the efforts that Sierra Leonean women are making on ground!

As the election propaganda and mixed messages pour in, it makes it hard to really believe whose news is right or wrong. Well one news that we can say for a fact that remains consistent is that which has to do with the women’s agenda in Sierra Leone. Simply put as much as women make up 52 percent of the Sierra Leone population, they are heavily under-represented in all levels of government with an average of about 15 percent representation in total, the women in Sierra Leone are pushing for more political representation in government and are doing this with resilience and vigor.  As you all know WCA has been closely following women’s involvement in the elections, and we wanted to take the opportunity to let you all know the top 4 reasons how women are changing the elections landscape in Sierra Leone.

1.  An increase in the number of Female Candidates

A total of 337 women candidates have been nominated for 10 political parties and are slated to run for local council elections. This organized effort comes from the help of various Sierra Leonean women civil society organizations and women at all levels of society taking matters of leadership into their own hands  As much as the number is significantly low to their male counterparts there has been an increase in this number since the  last elections.
Read more here.

 2. Women’s rights activists continue to push for the 30 % quota to be passed by the government

The 30 percent quota which was introduced as a bill by numerous women’s rights activists after the 2007 elections in Sierra Leone is yet to be passed by the government. In Sierra Leone, 18.9% of local politicians are women, as are 13.4% at national level. According to a precedent that the International community set, the recommended percentage of women that should be in government to influence change is no less than 30 percent, and as a country we have a long way to go. However this has not stopped women for pushing to ensure that this bill is passed.
Read more here

3. Sierra Leone Women have a peaceful elections at the focal point of their agenda

Women hold the key to peace during this election, the newly formed Women’s situation room is meant to have key stakeholders engaged pre-during and post elections to ensure that no election violence occurs by putting prime measures in place.

4. Sierra Leonean women's formation of the All Political Parties Women Association (AAPWA) exemplifies that women believe in unity, good leadership and increasing women’s political participation regardless of political affiliation.

The greatest indicator of Sierra Leonean women’s unity for this election is probably the forming of the All Political  Parties Women Association APPWA.  The organization was created to engage women from all political parties with the main goal of building women's capacity to run for office and ensuring that many qualified women candidates are slated to run for varioius seats.

Photo Credit UN Africa Renewal 

As we get closer to elections we will continue to keep an eye out closely on how women are changing things. So stay tuned and we will be back with more snippets and updates to share with all of you lovely people. Wishing our fellow country men and women a peaceful and fun election campaigning period! 

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