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Sierra Leone

Advancing gender equality (SL0027)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Sierra Leone Action Plan 2019-2021

Action Plan Cycle: 2019

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Social Welfare and Children

Support Institution(s): Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development; Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Health and Sanitation; Ministry of Political and Public Affairs; Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, Statistics Sierra Leone and other line Ministries, Campaign for Good Governance, UN Women, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP, Irish Aid, African Development Bank, PLAN SL, Action Aid, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee (Development Initiative Programme), Trocaire, Women’s Forum Sierra Leone

Policy Areas

Gender, Human Rights, Justice, Legislation & Regulation, Marginalized Communities, Sustainable Development Goals

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Pending IRM Review

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact: Pending IRM Review

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

What is the public problem that the commitment will address?
Women make up 50.8% of the population of Sierra
Leone (2015 Housing and Population Census).
However this representation fails to be reflected in
key areas such as literacy, economic empowerment
and decision-making and political leadership. For
instance, women account for only 12.33% of current
parliamentarians. Although some strides have been
made in areas such as legal reforms and increased
gender awareness and activism, entrenched cultural
beliefs and practices that discriminate against
women and girls, and stereotypical perception of
women and girls remain a stumbling block in
achieving gender equality and women’s
empowerment.
Despite some progress made in the quest for gender
equality and women’s empowerment over the years,
Sierra Leone still has mammoth challenges affecting
the efforts to ensure the full and equal enjoyment of
rights by women and men. On the positive side,
there is increased gender awareness among
stakeholders, some institutions have been
established to prevent GBV such as the Family
Support Unit and some legal reforms have taken
place to rectify gender-based injustices, which have
resulted in the enactment of laws such as the three
Genders Justice Acts. The number of women in
executive positions in the civil service has increased
and the first female Attorney General was appointed
2018 by the current government. The government
has also just launched the Free and Quality
Education which provides a unique opportunity for
many more girls to complete secondary school.
However, there still remains a glaring absence of
women in decision-making and political leadership.
There are only 18 women among 146
parliamentarians (12.33%). Gender-based violence
including rape is still significantly prevalent and most
of the institutions that should respond to victims and
survivors are either not available or are inadequately
equipped especially in relation to human resource
capacity and logistics.

What is the commitment?
To advance gender equality and the empowerment of
all women and girls in Sierra Leone. This commitment
seeks to minimize incidences of GBV in the country
and strengthen the mechanisms that protect women
and children; improve women’s human rights by
enhancing their access to justice through improved
knowledge of their rights, legal reforms and
enhancement of the capacity of law enforcement
agencies; improve Sierra Leonean women’s access
to political leadership and decision-making at all
levels; encourage sectorial ministries to ensure the
integration of gender-oriented goals into fiscal
policies, processes and programmes and meaningful
resource allocation focusing on women’s needs.

How will the commitment contribute to solving the public problem?
Women form critical mass of the population of Sierra
Leone and therefore any initiative aimed at
promoting gender equality and women’s
empowerment will make a quantum leap in
addressing discrimination and patriarchal issues. It
will promote women’s empowerment in the political,
social, economic and cultural fields. It will ensure
accountability to normative frameworks including
CEDAW, BDPfA, AU Protocol on Women, UNSCR
1325, SDGs and Agenda 2063 among others.
The GEWE policy is to create a framework that
promotes equal rights for women and men in Sierra
Leone, as a precedent to legislation that ensures
gender equality and women’s empowerment. The
policy will ensure that gender equality is
mainstreamed and promoted as a pertinent element
to sustainable economic development. This will
greatly depend on the meaningful and timely
allocation of resources and the efficient use of those
resources to create a society in which women and
men have equal access to basic services and enjoy
the same rights and opportunities in enabling
environments.
The Bill will enumerate specific rights that reinforce
the equality of women and men, while providing in
law mechanisms for ensuring substantive equality
and women’s empowerment.
Gender-disaggregated data provides a clear picture
of the status of women and the impacts of the
interventions of Ministries, Departments, and
Agencies. This allows for more targeted and refined
interventions by government and other actors.

Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?
The commitment helps to create safer communities,
particularly for women and girls, by putting in place
mechanisms for their physical, social, and economic
protection from all forms of GBV. Women’s participation in political and decisionmaking processes is integral to gender-responsive
policy making and inclusivity. It amplifies women’s
voices in shaping development priorities at local and
national levels.

Additional Information The Government of Sierra Leone has developed and
officially launched the Medium Term National
Development Plan (2019-2023) with a whole cluster
Five on “Empowering Women, Children and Persons
with Disability”. This plan was fully aligned to the
SDGs and Agenda 2063 which will ease
implementation and reporting. The Ministry of Social
Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs has also
finalized the National Gender Strategic Plan and the
Sierra Leone National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325
and 1820.
The demand for gender quotas in Sierra Leone
derives its legitimacy from the provisions of the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report where
it is stated that 30% representation for women in
elected offices, cabinet and other political appointed
positions should be women. It was envisaged that
would increase to 50/50 gender parity within 10
years. This is in line with the obligation of the state
to take action on the CEDAW convention 1979
which has been ratified by Sierra Leone. The
Government of Sierra Leone is also a signatory to
other instruments including the UN Beijing Platform
for Action which states that governments should
commit themselves to “Take measures, including,
where appropriate, in electoral systems that
encourage elective and non-elective pubic positions
in the same proportion and at the same levels as
men” (FWCW 1995: Art.190b); the protocol to the
African Charter on Human and Peoples’ rights on
the rights of Women in Africa states that “States
Parties shall take specific positive action to promote
participative governance and the equal participation
of women in the political life of their countries
through affirmative action” (Art.9).


Commitments

  1. Expanding community-based justice services

    SL0022, 2019, Justice

  2. Improving access to secondary school

    SL0023, 2019, Education

  3. Tax system transparency

    SL0024, 2019, Fiscal Transparency

  4. Beneficial ownership registry

    SL0025, 2019, Beneficial Ownership

  5. Improve implementation of right to access to information

    SL0026, 2019, E-Government

  6. Advancing gender equality

    SL0027, 2019, Gender

  7. Open parliament

    SL0028, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Records and Archives Management

    SL0029, 2019, Legislation & Regulation

  9. Gender

    SL0012, 2016, Capacity Building

  10. Foriegn Aid Transparency

    SL0013, 2016, Aid

  11. Waste Management

    SL0014, 2016, Capacity Building

  12. Fiscal Transparency and Open Budget

    SL0015, 2016, E-Government

  13. Audit Report

    SL0016, 2016, Audits and Controls

  14. Climate Change

    SL0017, 2016, Capacity Building

  15. Elections

    SL0018, 2016, E-Government

  16. Record Archive Management

    SL0019, 2016, E-Government

  17. Access to Justice

    SL0020, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Open Public Procurement Contracting

    SL0021, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  19. Publish and Revise 70% of Mining and Agricultural Lease Agreements and Contracts

    SL0009, 2014, E-Government

  20. Starred commitment Right to Access Information Law

    SL0010, 2014, Capacity Building

  21. Open Data Portal for Transparency in Fiscal and Extractive Transactions

    SL0011, 2014, E-Government

  22. Public Integrity Pact with 5 Ministries, Departments, and Agencies

    SL0001, 2014, Conflicts of Interest

  23. Archives and Records Management Act

    SL0002, 2014, E-Government

  24. Scale up Performance Management and Service Delivery Directorate

    SL0003, 2014, Public Participation

  25. Compliance with Audit Measures

    SL0004, 2014, Audits and Controls

  26. Starred commitment Single Treasure Account

    SL0005, 2014, Extractive Industries

  27. Extractive Industry Revenue Act

    SL0006, 2014, Extractive Industries

  28. Scaling up Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives

    SL0007, 2014, Extractive Industries

  29. Local Content Policy (LCP) Linkages with MDAs

    SL0008, 2014, Capacity Building