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22
February

Women can now stand for Paramount Chieftaincy in Kailahun -Chief Ishmail Foday

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Pre-Colonial Sierra Leone was characterised by war. In war like situation we do not expect women to be warriors, to go and confront war. We love them, we enjoy their partnership and they comfort us by doing everything possible to make us feel like men” said the Chiefdom Speaker of Luawa Chiefdom, Chief Ismail Foday. He made this disclosure during interactive session between the Hamilton Family, Christian Aid and the Kailahun Women leaders and Councillors organized by SEND Sierra Leone.

It could be recalled that many Sierra Leonean warriors lost their lives behind their women during the pre-colonial era when they moved from one community to the other during their quest for conquering many parts of the country as a way of demonstrating superiority.
According to Chief Foday, they were born and bred in the dark as they followed their great grand father’s way of doing things by depriving women of their rights at home, adding that even the up bringing of their children were not the same as more facilities were given to the male child with little or nothing for the female child.
He maintained that warriors were afraid of disclosing their secret to women whom they believe will let it out whiles enjoying sometimes with their male friends which was why they were not allowed to participate in governance as one has to be sure of the persons ability, reliability, stability, accuracy among others, “but since we look low upon them, we decided to keep them away from decision making”.
“According to the Genesis story of the Bible every human being is made in the image and likeliness of God and chapter 95 verse 5 of the Holy Quran states that every human being are created in the best possible way” he recalled, explaining that all human being are dignified and therefore their dignities must be respected.
He stated that both the male and female have 206 bones each, same blood, flesh and everything like human and so women should be given the same opportunity as men, adding that they understand that every human has his own natural endowment by God, so they thought it fit that everyone should be given the opportunity to unfold the endowment give to him/her by God for nation building.
According to Chief Ishmail, those traditions that restricted women from contesting are full of stereotype ideas without any tangible truth as they have been able to verify from their Gender knowledge “and therefore we say that we are not going to blemish our International record, we give equal right to people to participate in the process of contesting for the seat of a Paramount Chief.”
He stated that they were able to gain this knowledge through gender and Human Rights engagement with Social Enterprise Development (SEND) foundation, as they can only get the best out of the people … if you allow everybody to play their own role from which you can choose the best among the rest.
“Traditions have changed from time to time over the generation to meet with the demands of the needs of man. So we are not obstructing anything, we are maintaining our traditions and improving our Human Rights records and developing our communities” he recalled.

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