Elections, Gender, SIERRA LEONE::
Women’s political representation in danger of decline post elections

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FREETOWN - Sierra Leone will see its first female candidate, Kadi Sesay from the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party, vying for the position of vice president in elections scheduled to take place on 17th November.
But not many women are joining her in the race for parliament with 38 females -- just over six percent -- out of a total of 586 candidates. In local government, 26 percent of candidates contesting seats are women.

Barbara Bangura, the director of the women’s organisation Grassroots Empowerment for Self Reliance blames the low number of female contestants on parliament’s failure to pass the Gender Equality Bill.

The Bill would have provided for a 30 percent female parliamentary representation but the women’s parliamentary caucus, tasked with pushing for the Bill, failed to agree on the institution to monitor implementation.

Sierra Leone currently has 14 percent of female parliamentarians while women make up nearly 19 percent of Councillors in local government. /IPS (END//2012)

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