Powerful open call to Sierra Leonean President
See the original position paper posted on Facebook here.
“We are seriously concerned about the continuous marginalization of women in in the political governance of the country which is contrary to the provision as stated in Article 29 (1,2) of the African Charter on Democracy, Election and Governance (ACDEG):
1. State Parties shall recognize the crucial role of women in development and strengthening of democracy
2. State Parties shall create the necessary conditions for full and active participation of women in the decision-making processes and structures at all levels as a fundamental element in the promotion and exercise of a democratic culture.”
These are the words written by young ACDEG Ambassadors, working with ActionAid Sierra Leone and Center for the Coordination of Youth Activities, in a position paper calling on the President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio to include more women in leadership and governance processes in accordance with the ACDEG. The paper was posted on social media in November 2019.
The hope for the outcome of the position paper is that the government [...] will see it and act on it, and that citizens will continue to pressure institutions at all levels to include young people, and especially women.
After commending the President for his nearly two years of service where he has introduced Free Quality Education and strengthened financial discipline and the fight against corruption, the youth express their concerns about the marginalization of women and other minorities and they remind the President of his inaugural statements:
“As young people, we are reminding Mr. President of his inaugural statement in which he made commitments to include women in the governance process of the country and recognized the critical role they play in national development. But this has not yet been manifested.”
The open position ends with two specific calls on the President:
- To increase the appointment of women, young people and people with special needs as ministers, deputies, ambassadors, high commissioners and head of parastatals beyond the less than 10% appointee to date.
- Complete the constitutional review process that will have the legal provision to enforce the 30% quota as requested by women of Sierra Leone.
Why an open position paper?
According to Aminata Kelly-Lamin, Policy and Advocacy Manager and Acting head of Programmes and Policy in ActionAid Sierra Leone, the ACDEG Ambassadors chose the form of an open position paper because of the potential of dissemination:
“The youth were of the opinion that they can disseminate the open position and make it go virial compared to if it was specifically sent to a duty bearer. With an open call they also wanted to get more sympathizers on the course” she tells.
The hope for the outcome of the position paper is that the government both at local and national levels will see the paper and act on it, and that citizens will continue pressuring institutions at all levels to include young people, and especially women, in politically appointed positions.
Where do ACDEG Ambassadors and ActionAid Sierra Leone go from now?
Policy and Advocacy Manager and Acting Head of Programmes and Policy, Aminata Kelly-Lamin explains: “ActionAid Sierra Leone will continue its collaboration with the Ministry of Political and Public Affairs and the African Peer Review Mechanism to get government responsiveness to identifying a focal institution and handing the responsibility of reporting on the implementation status of ACDEG. We will continue raising citizens awareness through CSOs and the ACDEG ambassadors and continue joining the regional campaigns from all fronts to demand for the full and effective implementation of the Charter.”
Do you want to share the position paper on your social media to help it go viral and create awareness on the call for implementation of ACDEG? Find the original post on Facebook here.