Sierra Leone returned to the conduct of periodic democratic elections in 1996 following the end of the military regime. In 1996, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) won (well according the NEC) the elections with late Alhaji Ahmed Tejan Kabbah as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. He was re-elected in 2002 following the declaration of the official end of the 11 years brutal war that left over 50, 000 dead and more displaced and amputated.
Sierra Leone is being predominantly ruled by us the men. The glass ceilings are very much intact and can only be broken if the women say so. I have always argued that women’s political representation and presidency is what will transform Sierra Leone.
The fight for women’s empowerment has eclipsed all other fights even on the global stage. There are countries around the world that women have served and still serving as Heads of States. Yes, there are better developed democracies that should have broken that glass ceilings, but that is not the case.
Politics is the quest for power, influence and authority. And for the simple reason that political office aids the allocation of resources in transition districts it is often viewed as warfare with attendant security implications. Security which is the freedom from danger or damage whether physical or emotional is imperative in the electoral process.
Elections in Sierra Leone are full of animosity and therefore fraught with danger. Election security has been a major challenge to both the election referee and the citizenry as political parties and their supporters view the electoral process as a “do or die” affair resulting in brigandage and electoral malfeasance.
Dear Friend, I write this letter in response to a genuine concern a friend expressed to me in a text message. She stated emphatically how paranoid she becomes when she meets people on her way to an event and they fail to greet her or give her a smile. She stated that such disdainful behaviour alone can really piss her off. I told her such is life. We often become quick to apportion a chunk of the blame to other people only for us to realize that people apportion that same blame to us.