Increased knowledge on GESI led to more women leading in Lokomasama Chiefdom

Yabom Wara Koroma - Traditional Chief

Early 2018, when SABI intervened in Loko Masama Chiefdom, ward 245, Port Loko District, it noticed that women are not well represented in meetings and decision-making processes. The first open community meeting conducted by SABI had a poor turnout of women and Persons with Disability (PWDs), most women were predominantly left behind to handle domestic work and raise children, while young girls provided support alongside their mothers. Similarly, Persons with Disability (PWDs) were not encouraged to step up. Men were alternatively the face of leadership and decision making in the Chiefdom.

The Field Officer (Victoria Saffa) of Sierra Leone Social Aid Volunteers (SLSAV), a SABI partner working in the Chiefdom, organised a Gender Equality Social Inclusion (GESI) awareness meeting to bridge the gap.

The event brought together everyone, including; Persons with Disability, Women, Men, Village Development Committee Members, Ward Councillor, Town Chiefs, Teachers and Nurses.

SABI provided information on inclusion, recognising that all citizens, regardless of sex, age, class, ability status, should be informed, consulted and involved in community development to create improved accountability of services to all. This formed a general notion among stakeholders, that communities are the most important drivers of development, because they have the power and ability to build real change.

At the end of the meeting, all agreed, that they need to start involving women and Persons with Disability (PWDs) in their meetings as a way of changing the imbalance of justice, power and leadership. With SABI they saw the opportunity to develop skills and be provided the support they need to become active agents of change in Loko Masama Chiefdom.

We appreciate SABI giving us this knowledge, our women have always been at the back, but after that meeting, we saw the need to start involving them – Section Chief in Petifu, Pa Alimamy Koroma

 

SABI did not only teach us about inclusion, they showed us how we can make it work. Working with women will boost our efforts to sustain development in the chiefdom – Umaru Bai Kallay

To demonstrate this, a Loko Masama women’s group was formed, and five women were appointed to represent women in the ward committee. Yabom Wara Koroma has been selected as Traditional Chief and Mrs. Lovetta H. Kamara selected as the Women’s Leader of Loko Masama Chiefdom. With this new-found knowledge, women and girls are now being encouraged to attend and participate in meetings.

I am very happy because through SABI, I am now a Traditional Chief. I will make sure that I work with our women to bring change to Lokomasama Chiefdom – Yabom Wara Koroma.

The Policy Literacy activity held in December 2019 in Loko Masama Chiefdom, ward 245, Port Loko District, was chaired by the newly selected women’s leader, Ms. Lovetta H. Kamara.

With the support of men in Loko Masama Chiefdom, Mrs Kamara has further led her group of active women, to raise awareness about teenage pregnancy in houses and schools.

Today, women in Loko Masama Chiefdom, ward 245, Port Loko District are now taking the lead in development work and decision-making processes through the SABI programme.

 

Yabom Wara Koroma – Traditional Chief

Mrs. Lovetta H. Kamara – Women’s Leader