December 3, 2019

Leader of the Women caucus in Sierra Leon and a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Veronica K. Sesay has said passage of Affirmative Action Bill within countries in the sub-region would increase female representation in the Community Parliament.

According to K. Sesay with the smaller countries having five representation in the Community Parliament they send only a female. “When we have the Affirmative Act in place in our various countries with thirty percent representation, out of the five who would be chosen to represent their countries here in Abuja, you would get two women representing”.

She pointed out in an interview that in the case of her country for instance they are highly on the Affirmative Action Bill pushing it and they have had a study tour to Kenya and Rwanda, with information sent to the Attorney General.

“There is the political will, the President has said whatever we want we should go for it, we are few and male dominated Parliament; one hundred and forty-six, we females are just sixteen with two paramount chiefs and an independent female member”.

In addition, we have asked for safe seats in the sense that we have sixteen districts we would nominate two each from each district, we would hold the elections whoever wins goes to Parliament, she added.

“Back in my country as chair of the Committee of Trade and Industry, everywhere I go on oversight, I would encourage that women are given fare representation in institutions, if we are together on this we can go a long way.

In addition, they say we fight among ourselves as women and personality conflict, they just want to pull us down and divert our attention, this time we are saying now we are together, we should close our ranks.

she revealed that as ECOWAS Parliament there is an association for women and they are together, her only problem has to do with language barrier on how to express themselves, “it is difficult”.

It became very evident during interview with Veronica K. Sesay when her colleague from a Francophone country wanted to communicate with her at her hotel but was unable to do it to her satisfaction where they had to use sign language to express themselves.

“You see, she want to tell me something but because of the language barrier she cannot express herself very well, we are struggling to understand each other”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/