Sierra Leone's women are a political force that can no longer be ignored
Two years ago, Sierra Leone's government invited the women's movement to draw up a bill to usher in the quota system they had been demanding for the past 10 years. The women worked tirelessly to draft and push through a bill stipulating that women should have a 30% representation in government and public decision-making spaces.
The current parliamentary session closed on Tuesday. Despite the women's demands that the bill be pushed through as a government bill by executive order through a certificate of urgency, and eight other bills being enacted just before the close of parliament, gender equality was not included in the pack.
In a recent article in the Guardian, Pathways of Women's Empowerment RPC researcher, , comments on the usefulness of quotas to improve women's representation in parliament, and how politicians and women's rights activists view the bill. She argues that regardless of whether the quota bill is eventually passed, Sierra Leonean women will make history by having forced the government to acknowledge their role and status as a political force that can no longer be overlooked.