Sierra Leone a country that favors Men, has now passed a new law requiring public and private sectors to reserve 30% of their jobs to women.
President Julius Maada Bio signed into the law of bill , which also assures women at least 14 weeks of maternity leave, equal pay and training opportunities.
Julius said it would “address the gender imbalances in this country comprehensively. we have to make sure it works.”
“We must end the impunity or violence against women in elections and public life and punish all persons and entities found guilty of such violence,” he added.
According to women rights watch, Women in Sierra Leone experience systematic discrimination, its a common practice to fire them if they fall pregnant.
Additionally, many women and girls face high levels of sexual violence, partly a legacy of the use of rape as a weapon during the 1991-2002 civil war.
In a world dominated by men , the new law aims to improve women access to finance in a country where they have often been unable to get credit.
The 30% jobs quota also applies to management positions, to stop employers from merely hiring women to lower- level jobs to comply with the new law. It applies , to the 146 seat parliament and the civil services.
Furthermore, Sierra Leone’s women are poorly represented in their politics, as in many other Western African countries. The country currently only has 18 woman MPs and there are only four women in Bio’s 32 member cabinet.
“Women who wish to serve in public offices and their supporters must not be undermined, belittled intimidated or humiliated,” Said Bio
“It is not going to be easy because that space has been occupied by men for a very long time, we must monitor electoral process to ensure election fairness and transparency.” he added
Employers who break the new law will face a fine of up to 50.000 Leones($2,600,2,400 euros) for each violation.
“We are happy today as our dream for an improved political, social and economic empowerment of women and girls in Sierra Leone has started,” said Sally Ndimawa Adams leader of the Sierra Leone Women’s Forum.
Lastly, Sierra Leone is ranked 182nd out of 189 countries on the UN’s 2020 Gender Development Index. Nearly half of the countries in the bottom are in West Africa.