Sierra Leone: President Bio Signs Law Reserving 30% Of Positions For Women
It’s a good time for women in Sierra Leone as the country’s president, Julius Maada Bio on Thursday signed into law a bill which allows public and private organizations to cede at least thirty percent of their employment slots to women, including positions of leadership in a society dominated by men.
“The Women’s Equality and Empowerment Act that I am signing into law today will undoubtedly completely redress the gender imbalances in our country. We must make sure it works,” the president said during the signing ceremony in Freetown.
“We must no longer hamper, belittle, intimidate or hinder women who want to work in the public sector and those who support them,” President Bio added.
He continued, “It’s not going to be easy because this space has been occupied by men for a very long time, we have to monitor the electoral processes to ensure fairness and transparency in the elections.”
The law is also applicable to the Parliament with 146 seats, out of which thirty percent will be occupied by women.
At the moment, about 18 women sit in Parliament while four are among the 32 members of Mr. Bio’s cabinet.
Employers who do not comply with the law face a fine of 50,000 leones (2,400 euros) for each violation.
The law seeks to promote women’s access to financing and links public spending to equality between men and women.
Those who deny women equal access to financial support risk at least three years in prison.