Supported by UNDP’s Global Project on the Role of Parliaments as Partners in Women, Peace and Security, members of the Parliament of Sierra Leone drafted and adopted a parliamentary resolution on calling on government and committing parliamentarians on issues emanating from the UNSCR 1325 & 1820 Women, Peace and Security (WPS) last Thursday, February 14, 2019. By adopting the resolution, Parliament has pledged to promote law reforms in support of gender equality, including amending a section of the 1991 Constitution which currently allows for discrimination against women in certain instances, bringing to the Table of the House, an Affirmative Action Bill, and fast-tracking the adoption of amendments to the Child Rights Act of 2007.
The resolution is a major step forward for women’s rights in Sierra Leone, a country which is currently dealing with widespread sexual and gender-based violence and which ranks high when it comes to gender-based discrimination in laws and institutions. The charge for bringing the resolution to a vote was led by the Female Parliamentary Caucus and its president Honorable Veronica K. Sesay but MPs, both male
Sierra Leone is one of four pilot countries targeted by the UNDP project, which is supported by the Government of Norway and works with parliaments and parliamentarians to advance implementation of the WPS agenda (others are Jordan, Kyrgyzstan and Sri Lanka). The resolution is the product of over a year of consultations, dialogues and meetings supported by the project, including a two-day national workshop in Freetown on 12-13 July which was organized by UNDP and attended by 40 MPs and several key stakeholders.
The Resolution on WPS was laid on the Table and taken up for debate and adopted in the Parliament of Sierra Leone, within a week as per the Direction from the Speaker in the House. On the day it was adopted, the Speaker of the House- the Rt. Honorable Abass Bundu strategically allowed for the opinions of the male members to be heard leading to unanimous support for the resolution’s adoption. During the debate, very pertinent points regarding the subject of women, peace
At the end of the debate, the parliamentary resolution calling on
This successful outcome preceded a series of events in 2018 which included a multi-stakeholder consultative workshop, follow-up meetings
With additional support from Norway, the UNDP project has been expanded in 2019 to add additional countries and activities. UNDP is also publishing a Global Handbook on the Role of Parliaments as Partners in Women, Peace
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