The Men’s Association for Gender Equality Sierra Leone (MAGE-SL) last Thursday concluded a 4-day workshop with political parties on creating safe spaces for women’s active participation in the 2023 elections. The training drew participants from across the political divide, mainly the four main political parties represented in the House of Parliament, that is, APC, SLPP, NGC and C4C.
The discussions were centred around the gender norms and masculinities, stereotypes and other social constructs that debarred women from taking active part in politics, particularly their marginalisation in the award of party symbols to contest for local council, parliamentary and presidential elections.
MAGE’s Program Manager Abdul Martin expatiated on the broader contexts and dynamics of gender norms and how they impact political organisations, communities and the society at large.
During the discussions, the four political parties presented various position papers indicating their parties’ position as far as creating safe spaces for women is concerned. The training culminated in the drafting of a pledge by the political parties’ representatives to provide more symbols to female aspirants and to further commit to providing the moral and financial support to female candidates to contest and win any seats they vie for.
The training was organised with funds provided by the National Democratic Institute (NDI).