Female Councilors from the 11 Local Councils in the South and East were on Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th May 2013 gathered at the Bo City Council by the Local Councils Association of Sierra Leone (LoCASL) in collaboration with the UN Women.
The meeting is in line with the Government of Sierra Leone’s commitment to Regional and International agreements on the capacitation of the women folks in Sierra Leone both at the local and national levels.
The more than sixty female Councilors for whom the skills enhancement training workshop was organized were tutored on “Advocacy/Lobbying/other tenets associated with Local Governance Leadership.”
The meeting brought together 84 participants from the 5 Councils of the East and the 6 Councils of the South, among them including “Mayors, Chairpersons, Paramount Chiefs.”
The Mayor Bo City Council Harold L Tucker declared that the training for the female councilors was coming not on the backdrop that “men have failed to lobby on policies” but that “when women lobby alongside with men, it becomes faster.” In continuation, he opined that “any man that fears a woman is not a man of quality.” In his opinion, the men of Sierra Leone “want more educated girls so that we can get more women politicians.”
Charles Vandi from the Gender Affairs Ministry appealed to the female councilors to “Let us share whatever we are learning here with our companion councilors.” The gathering he maintained was in line with government’s obligation to the “AU Heads of State Solemn Declaration on Gender,” and other policies.
Melrose of the UN Women stated that, “our counterparts in Senegal are happy with what is happening on gender issues in Sierra Leone.” Secondly, she stated that, “without gender equality and the empowerment of women we are not talking development.” Developed countries she summed up “are countries that have taken women issues seriously.” “Until the last woman in the fakai is developed, Sierra Leone is not talking development.” To her, development “is not just having bread on your table as we experienced during the elections.” She argued that it was when the weakest one is capacitated. She cried to her common folks gathered at the conference to “capacitate your companions.” In continuation she yelled, “nation building actually rests with the women.” She stated that she was of this strong conviction considering the reality that “most of the issues are about women. Therefore development rests with us the women.” At any time and in any place, “no development” she exclaimed, “happens if women are not part of it.” She therefore asked her counterparts to embrace the development of every woman, concluding, “If we do not develop locally we would not develop nationally and internationally.”
Pious Samai Bockarie, UNDP Project Specialist began by assuring the UNDP’s commitment to the Local Councils which he revealed started since its re-inception. The UNDP he stated will continue to aid the Local Councils to meet their goals. In the Local Councils, “women percentage increases each time.” This he further explicated “is good as most of the problems identified by the government…it’s the women that suffer the brunt.” And the female councilors who are representing their female counterparts he elucidated will not complete their assignment well “if these women aren’t trained.” In a twist, he clarified to the female councilors that “leadership is no easy thing.” He went on to tell them: “You can only meet good leadership skills if you perform your duties well.”
The President of the Local Councils Association Ahmid Muniru Fofanah as a husband said that, “women are the managers of the day to day work of life.” Women he declared again “think globally and act locally for the benefit of everyone.” Before that, he revealed that “Sierra Leone is now classed as the most devoted country on decentralization.” And from 2014, donor countries he explained will now deal directly with Decentralization. And why decentralization he stated was because “It is decentralization that knows where this problem and that solution are.”
Source | Awoko