Empowering Women in Sierra Leone: A Comparative Report on the SLPP 2018 Manifesto and its Achievements after 5 Years
By the Sierra Leone Live Team
Sierra Leone Live is delighted to present a comprehensive comparison and analysis of the progress made in empowering women and achieving gender equality in line with the commitments outlined in the New Direction 2018 Manifesto. In our pursuit of transparency and accountability, we aim to provide you with the information to assess whether the SLPP government has met its targets set forth in the manifesto.
As part of this analysis, Sierra Leone Live has prepared a series of 25 questions that delve into various aspects of women’s empowerment, encompassing education, entrepreneurship, agriculture, energy access, political participation, and implementing gender laws and policies. These questions have been designed to facilitate a thorough evaluation of the progress made in empowering women during the specified period.
Our team has meticulously compared the promises outlined in the 2018 manifesto with the achievements reported after five years in office. By examining this data, we aim to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the extent to which the SLPP government has fulfilled its commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
- Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment:
- New Direction 2018 Manifesto: The manifesto promised to promote gender equality, equity, empowerment, and protection of women’s rights through various actions.
- Achievements after 5 Years: The Gender Equity and Women’s Empowerment Law was enacted, ensuring a minimum 30% quota for women’s representation in political positions and public service. This achievement aligns with the manifesto’s commitment to increasing women’s chances in politics through constitutional amendments and implementing a 30% Quota Bill.
- Education and Training for Women:
- New Direction 2018 Manifesto: The manifesto pledged to provide training and educational opportunities for women, establish a Women’s Development Fund, and offer free education for women pursuing sciences, engineering, and medical disciplines at the university level.
- Achievements after 5 Years: Scholarships were provided for women studying STEAM subjects, showing progress towards fulfilling the manifesto’s commitment to supporting women’s education and training. However, specific details about the establishment and operation of the Women’s Development Fund were not mentioned in the achievements report.
- Women in Agriculture:
- New Direction 2018 Manifesto: The manifesto aimed to promote women in agriculture through various means, including direct support for large-scale farming and agro-processing activities, providing market information, facilitating exports, improving processing facilities, and enhancing female access to land and strategic resources.
- Achievements after 5 Years: The achievements report does not provide explicit details regarding progress in promoting women in agriculture. It mentions empowering women through provisions in the Mines and Minerals Act, but it does not specifically address the agricultural sector.
- Access to Modern Energy:
- New Direction 2018 Manifesto: The manifesto promised to enhance female access to modern energy by investing in rural electrification, clean cooking fuel, and household energy needs.
- Achievements after 5 Years: The achievements report does not mention progress in enhancing female access to modern energy. Therefore, it is unclear if they addressed this objective.
- Procurement Laws and Support for Women-Led Organizations:
- New Direction 2018 Manifesto: The manifesto proposed making amendments to procurement laws to give preferential treatment to performing female contractors and providing support for women-led organizations in rural areas.
- Achievements after 5 Years: The achievements report does not specify progress related to the proposed amendments to procurement laws or support for women-led organizations. Therefore, it is uncertain whether these goals were accomplished.
- National Commission for Gender Affairs and Expertise Development:
- New Direction 2018 Manifesto: The manifesto aimed to establish a National Commission for Gender Affairs to develop, coordinate, monitor, and support the implementation of gender laws and policies, as well as improve expertise in gender through training programs.
- Achievements after 5 Years: The achievements report does not mention the establishment or progress of the National Commission for Gender Affairs or the support for training programs in gender. Thus, it is unclear if these initiatives were successfully implemented.
- Women’s Rights and Protection:
- Achievements after 5 Years: The achievements report highlights several significant accomplishments, including the provision of free healthcare for pregnant women and lactating mothers nationwide, the establishment of a toll-free line for reporting Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) cases, the granting of the right for women to own land under the National Land Commission Act 2022, and the initiation of the Hands of Our Girls campaign to protect teenage girls from early sex and marriage. These achievements align with the manifesto’s overall objective of protecting women’s rights and promoting their well-being.
While the achievements after 5 years show progress in certain areas, there are gaps between the commitments outlined in the New Direction 2018 Manifesto and the specific achievements reported. Some key areas where the achievements report lacks explicit information include progress in promoting women in agriculture, enhancing female access to modern energy, amending procurement laws, supporting women-led organizations, establishing the National Commission for Gender Affairs, and improving expertise through training programs. It is important to note that the analysis is based solely on the information provided and does not account for any potential unreported accomplishments or contextual factors that may have influenced the implementation of the manifesto’s goals.
We would like to express our gratitude to all the citizens of Sierra Leone for their active engagement in assessing the progress made in empowering our women. By critically examining the data and information provided, you contribute to a more informed and empowered society. Your involvement helps shape the narrative and direction of policies and initiatives related to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Note that the 25 questions are in a separate post, which follows the analysis.