Freetown – A three man delegation from the Sierra Leone Female Parliamentary Caucus (SLEFPAC) has updated His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on the Gender Equality Bill at the Presidential Lodge, Hill Station. The dele comprised the President of SLEFPAC, Hon. Reverend Marie Yansanneh, the Vice President, Hon. Elizabeth Lavalie, and the Secretary General, Hon. Nenneh Lebbie. They were accompanied by the Gender Advisor in the Office of the President Mrs. Naasu Fofanah, on Thursday 2nd August, 2012.
Giving an update on the sensitization of women across the country, Female Parliamentary Caucus president Hon. Rev. Marie Yansanneh informed President Koroma that the caucus went right round the country educating women from all spheres of society about the draft gender equality bill.
“We have been working in partnership with the technical committee and in the Western Area; we engaged women in Freetown, Bo, Kenema and Makeni in formulating the draft bill,” disclosed Hon. Rev Yansanneh.
The draft gender equality bill Hon. Rev Yansanneh further explained went through a validation process by the government Draughtsman for it to be tabled in parliament. She said that the laying of the paper in parliament for pre-legislative deliberation by Members of Parliament will be organized by all MPs, and formerly present the Draft Gender Equality Bill to President Koroma.
Welcoming the delegation, President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma applauded the Female Parliamentary Caucus for the efforts it has made so far in sensitizing women of the draft gender equality bill.
“We as a government do not just make pledges in moving towards empowering our women in Sierra Leone, but we are also ensuring that we legislate it into a law as well as be part of our legal framework”, President Koroma said.
He recalled inviting the Female Parliamentary Caucus a year ago at the Presidential Lodge to get themselves together and ensuring that even if it were a private member bill, they should ensure that the presence of women in parliament was being felt through the enactment of such a law.
President Koroma expressed delight that since his first meeting with the Female Parliamentary Caucus the group has been able to take the bill through the processes of validation, having done a series of sensitization of women on the significance of the bill.
He however threw a challenge to the Female Parliamentary Caucus that if the gender equality bill is passed into law in the life of this parliament then accolades go to all the MPs.
By State House Communications Unit – Freetown
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