In 2002, a decade of civil war in Sierra Leone ended, ushering in a new era of reconstruction, the resuscitation of local government and the development of state institutions. However, women’s role in the reconstruction process remains relatively minimal as women are under-represented in political life.
WFD has supported the Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Reforms to build the capacity of 50 elected women and women community leaders to promote gender equity and inclusiveness in local governance and the decentralisation process. Workshops have provided female councillors and ward committee members with knowledge of human rights, democracy, governance, leadership and decision-making processes. These have been supplemented with training manuals and targeted training, focusing on the roles and responsibilities of female councillors in the light of the Local Government Act (2004) and other relevant statutory instruments.
Civic education provided by radio and newspaper coverage of the project further helped to narrow the participation gap between female councillors and ward committee members and their male counterparts. One participant commented that now she was aware that her appointment was statutory, she felt more confident in her position vis-à-vis her male counterparts.
For more information on our work in Sierra Leone, please contact Marina.Narnor@wfd.org