UN Women Empowers Female Paramount Chiefs - Sierraloaded News

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

UN Women Empowers Female Paramount Chiefs


UN Women in Sierra Leone in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development over the weekend held a consultative meeting with female Paramount Chiefs on creating a supporting environment for women as voters and aspirants in the 2018 elections, and supporting women’s participation in electoral process. The engagement was held at the Bo City in the southern region.

Given on overview of the programme, Madam Baindu Massaquoi, programme specialist UN Women, said the meeting is to see how best female Paramount Chiefs could participate in the forthcoming election by supporting female aspirants and encourage women to participate in the electoral process.
She said that women should be seen participating in the forthcoming election, noting that UN Women is ready to support women.

She calls on the female Paramount Chiefs to see how best they will come together by having weekly or monthly meetings, so that women activities can be well planned before the general election.
Gender Specialist for Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Margaret M. Kaitibie called on Women to be united. She said that in chiefdoms, male chiefs are dominant and are restricting women from doing what they want.

She said with the support of UN Women, women will continue to push their agenda and take leadership roles in society.

UN Women Country Representatives, Dr. Mary Okumu said, The meeting is about meeting women leaders for us to understand how they are preparing for and positioning their leadership roles in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).”

“We have elections which are coming, and we want them to supports women candidates in their chiefdoms, in their wards, and district, so that they will build on a critical mass of women in leadership,” she said.

Dr. Okumu said that “the meeting is to understand from the chiefs their experiences and challenges, and how we can strengthen their institutions of leadership and governance; and how can they become mentors of new young women leaders in their chiefdoms; what are their obstacle to achieving effective leadership; and to supports an action plan that can monitor, track and be able to see the differences and achievements they have made as a result of their roles as female leaders.”

She said that UN Women and other stakeholders are going to support them to build their skills in negotiation, networking and forming alliances with their male counterparts.

She said that UN Women will not support individual women. ”UN Women and the entire UN system build an enabling environment to be supportive, so that is why we are showcasing women as leaders for community to understand that they are effective leader as anybody else. You need soft voice, so that you get what you want,” she said.

Paramount Chief Ruth Fawundu Songa IV of Gbo Chiefdom, Bo District, on behalf of her colleagues, recognized UN Women for its commitment to supporting women’s empowerment. She said that for far too long they have been looking for support so that they could be seen visible in society.

Policy Specialist, Political Participation, UN Women, Gabriella Borovsky applauded female Paramount Chiefs for the resilience in speaking with one mind as women Leaders.

The Deputy Mayor of Bo District Council, Mohamed Wurie Jalloh congratulated UN Women for supporting such a meeting. He promised to support women in ensuring that they stay in power. “We as men took the disadvantage aspect from you but now that you are coming together as one force we will defiantly support you,” he said.

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