Solidaridad Empowers More Than 4000 Women

By Frederick V. Kanneh

A field worker of Solidaridad, Theresa J. Boani, has revealed that the organization, together with its partners, has made so many gains in both private and public sector in addressing socio-economic and culture barriers confronting women’s development, and that among others, it has transformed more than 4000 women into cash crop owners within three years of its operations.

Theresa gave the above testimony on March, 8th in the presence of students, the media and other stakeholders during the commemoration of the International Women’s Day at the district council hall in Kenema.

“Please permit me to highlight some of the gains Solidaridad have made together with its partners in addressing socio-economics and culture barriers confronting women’s development in Sierra Leone within the last three years of its operations,” she said.

She said through its Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme, its sustainable West Africa Oil Palm Programme and its Boosting Agriculture and Food Security Programme, Solidaridad has empowered more than 4000 women to become cash crop owners.

She added that the above will improve their income-earning power and boost their livelihoods, stating that it will to a large extent improve on their social and economic status.

She continued that through the Land Enhancing Government for Economic Development project that was implemented together with it partners in 2018, Solidaridad made a significant reduction of 30,700 hectares of land to 2,320 hectares to the people of Zimmi Makpele.

“Today is a perfect opportunity to highlight a few among the many factors that hinder the advancement of women in our society. To start with, culture and traditional practices have disempowered women and limit their social, political and economic progress, thereby preventing them from living a dignified life,” she said

She added that the ‘fifty-fifty’ popular demand of women was still farfetched because even though census result has proven that women make 51 per cent of Sierra Leone population, but that they only made 11 per cent of parliamentary seats.

 sierra leone flag

She concluded saying that even though the road to equality in society might be bumpy, but that Solidaridad will use its agricultural projects to make it smooth.

Given the overview of the International Women’s Day, Haja Jeneba Koroma, of the Ministry of Gender and Children Affairs said since Sierra Leone joined the rest of the world to commemorate women’s day in 1985, significant steps have been taken by a lot of human right defenders in a bid to restore the dignity of women in society.

She said women’s role should not only be limited to kitchen and that the main reason why the commemoration was very important was that its brought together young females and thought them the strength of women in society.

“I want to say a special thank you to the Government of Sierra Leone for enacting laws that protect women from sexual abuse, rape, trafficking among others,” she said.

She concluded by calling on all men to join women to change the mindset of those who believed that women are sex objects, but those who also believed that women are to be suppressed.

Child representative, Thomasia Lewis, said that even though rape and other violence among women served as a hindrance to women empowerment, but that lack of women in senior positions also served as setback.

She, therefore, called on all including men to come together and promote women’s empowerment issues, adding that the traditional misperceptions and beliefs about women should be things of the past, as the world was heading towards 50-50 representation.

Source: Concord Times

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