Women's

Forum Sierra Leone

              Women's Forum
                  Sierra Leone

About us

 

 
   

MOTTO:Solidarity For Empowerment,Equality and Development

WOMEN’S FORUM SIERRA LEONE

REPORT

FEMNET’S PROGRAMMING CONFERENCE

AND

7TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY 3RD—5TH MAY 2017

VENUE: NAIROBI, KENYA (CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL)

THEME: “SAFEGUARDING OUR GAINS: AFRICAN WOMEN    COLLECTIVE ACTION IN DEFINING THE PATHWAY TO ACHIEVE AGENDA 2030 FOR SUSTAININGDEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDG’S) AND AFRICAN AGENDA 2063”

BY:

MRS. MAUDE REGINA PEACOCK

PRESIDENT, WOMEN’S FORUM

(A REGIONAL DELEGATE)

 

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

REPORT ON THE 7TH PROGRAMMING CONFERENCE AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF FEMNET

DATE:                         3rd - 5th May 2017

VENUE:                      Nairobi, Kenya (Crowne PLAZA Hotel)

THEME:                      “Safeguarding our gains: African Women Collective Action in Defining the Pathway to Achieve Agenda 2030 for Sustaining Development  Goals (SDG’S) and African Agenda 2063”.

PARTICIPANTS:      

These cover the 5 sub-regions of Africa: North, West, Central, Eastern and Southern and a few African women from the Diaspora. They were made up of umbrella organisations, Women’s Rights Organisation, young women led organisations, grassroot women and women with disabilities.

There were also participants from other regions including Europe and Asia, Donor Partners, UN and AU officials, academic, media, and key Senior Government officials and Private Sector representatives.

We were all termed as VALUED GENDER ADVOCATES of the continent of Africa.

OVERALL OBJECTIVE:

To ensure that Women Rights Organisations (WROs) and other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working on gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE) across Africa EFFECTVELY ENGAGE in the follow-up review and implementation of the SDG’s to advance the Gender Equality Women’s Empowerment Agenda.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES:

  • To increase understanding and awareness on 2030 Agenda and Africa Agenda 2063 how these two relate together.

 

  • Strengthen and advance the role of WROs and feminist groups implementation of the SDG’s for sustainable development.

 

  • Map out a clear strategy on how WRO’s can effectively participate, contribute to the achievement of the Agenda 2030 at national, regional and global level.

 

INTRODUCTION

In 2013, the Women’s Forum registered with FEMNET, the African Women’s Development and Communication Network.

FEMNET (The African Women’s Development and Communication Network) is a feminist, pan –African Organisation with over 500 individual and institutional members in 43 countries in Africa and in the diaspora working to amplify African women’s voices and advance women’s rights.

Established in 1988 with her secretariat based in Nairobi, Kenya, FEMNET continues to strengthen the role and contribution of African CSOs focusing on women’s rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment. Over the years FEMNET has played a central role in facilitating the sharing of information, experiences, ideas and strategies among African women’s NGOs and individual activists as a strategy for strengthening women’s capacity to participate effectively in development processes at different levels.

FEMNET has played a lead role in building the women’s movement in Africa and has ensured that African women voices are amplified and influence decisions made at national, regional and global levels, which have direct and indirect impact on their lives.

As a registered member organisation invitation was extended to the President, Women’s Forum Mrs. Maude Regina Peacock to participate in this important general assembly. Air ticket and accommodation were provided.

THE CONFERENCE 3RD – 4TH MAY 2017

The first two days of the conference were spent on developing a clear road map and strategy for the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063.

The conference was declared opened by the Guest of Honour, Minister of Gender of Kenya, after impressive statements from a variety of Donors e.g. EU, UN Women, Regional Directors and the Chairperson, Mrs. Emma Kaliya, FEMNET ‘S Chairperson.

Erudite panelists deliberated on the theme for two days with a variety of excellent moderators. According to the panelists and moderators achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment is a developmental imperative within the 2030 Agenda, and Africa Agenda 2063.

In particular, SDG goal five it was pointed out aims to tackle the major structural causes of gender inequality including unpaid care work, violence against women, discriminatory laws amongst others.

On the other hand, Africa Agenda 2063 outlines the plan for structural transformation and a shared strategic framework for inclusive growth and sustainable development. One of the aspirations articulated in Agenda 2063 is to realize “An Africa whose development is people driven especially relying on the potentials offered by its youth and women”. Under this umbrella goal 5 specifically refers to the need to achieve “full gender equality in all spheres of life”.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CONFERENCE

  1. It provided a dedicated space for African Women to share learning and broaden understanding of women’s rights issues.
  2. It fostered collective thinking on how to move forward on common challenges and promote alliance building and continental coordination and on ensuring “No one is left behind”.
  3. Mobilize organisations and individuals for actions that contribute to the effective monitoring, follow up and implementation of 2030 Agenda.

In the afternoon of the first day of the conference at a market place player of the different regions shared best practices and existed initiatives that can be replicated in other regions.

In the West Africa Area, Sierra Leone items consisting of our Brochure of the Forum, Our Research on Conjugal Slavery and our badge “wearing black on Thursdays” fascinated many. We made it quite clear that our theme on this year’s International Women’s Day is not too far from the present theme “sustaining the increase in Inclusive Participation of Women to Enhance Chances of Socio-Economic Gender Parity by 2030”.

There is also a stand alone chapter, pillar 8 on the Governments Agenda for Prosperity, on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.

THE BLEEDING CAMPAIGN

On the evening of the 3rd May, there was the launching of the High Level Panel (HLP) report, endorsed by AU, Heads of State on the illicit financial flows from Africa. The report portrayed the loss of US50 billion to multinationals through Illicit Financial Flows – money that could be used to implement Agenda 2063. A domestification of this report was called for to stop this “bleeding of Africa”.

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

This was held on the 7th May and it was primarily for FEMNET members. Partners and stakeholders were welcomed as observers. This was chaired by Mrs. Emma Kayila Chairperson of FEMNET. Elders of FEMNET long-term interest in FEMNET occupied a special status in the Assembly. Reports were given by board members e.g. chairperson’s report treasurers report. Roll call was done.

Chairperson praised members for attending the Assembly and paid up their subscription she insisted on the following;_

  • Collective responsibility
  • Create a relationship for something to happen
  • Appreciate little effort
  • Organise don’t  agonise
  • No membership overnight
  • Work with Government of the day

I shared best practices of my organisation. Also established strong relationship with the Board Member of the West African region from the airport. I automatically became her campaign manager. She had a strong opponent, from Mali and eventually who reluctantly stepped down for my candidate from Ghana Dr. Charity Benka, who became the board member for the West African region.

 

ATTENTIVE LISTENERS

 

OUTCOME OF THE ASSEMBLY

  1. All the board member were relected for another term because of their commitment and hard work.
  2. The FEMNET Constitution was adopted after amendment.
  3. Subscription fee increased from U$100 to U$150.

OUTCOMES OF THE THREE DAYS FEMNETS CONVERSATION/PROGRAMMING MEETING 3RDTO 5TH MAY AT THE CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL NAIROBI

  1.  Establish solid partnership with the government of the day
  2. Developed constructive dialogue with them
  3. Attend regular stakeholders meetings
  4. Make a thrust to the Regions
  5. Work on opportunities like SDG’s to meet up challenges
  6. Involve extractive industries for financial resources
  7. Keep to the principle of ALL on board
  8. Create space for yourselves and enter the playing field DON’T wait for space to be created for you.
  9. Do evidenced based research both qualitative and qualitative and analysis to support you challenges
  10. Think globally but act LOCALLY.

CONCLUSION

My plans after FEMNET Conference.

They are really our plans as I cannot do it all.

  • To intensify our advocacy based on the two main Agendas 2030 and 2063
  • To have a Press Conference
  • To promote the BLEEDING CAMPAIGN one of the highlights of the conference in Sierra Leone.
  • To intensify working with the grassroot community.
  • To have constructive dialogue with Stakeholders.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDG’s)

1

NO  POVERTY

2

ZERO  HUNGER

3

GOOD  HEALTH  AND WELLBEING

4

QUALITY  EDUCATION

5

GENDER  EQUALITY

6

CLEAN  WATER  AND  SANITATION

7

AFFORDABLLE  AND  CLEAN  ENERGY

8

DECENT WORK AND  ECONOMIC  GROWTH

9

INDUSTRY,  INNOVATION  AND INFRASTRUCTURE

10

REDUCED  INEQUALITIES

11

SUSTAINABLE  CITIES  AND  COMMUNITIES

12

RESPONSIBLE  CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION

13

CLIMATE CHANGE/ACTION

14

LIFE  BELOW  WATER

15

LIFE  ON  LAND

16

PEACE AND JUSTICE

17

PARTNERSHIPS  FOR  THE GOALS

 

DR. CHARITY BINKA AND MRS. MAUDE PEACOCK

BOARD MEMBER – WEST AFRICA REGION AND HER CAMPAIGN MANAGER DETERMINED TO IMPLEMENT THE SDG’s

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY REPORT OF AGM

VENUE:                                              Peace Garden Hall, Kenema

DATE:                                                            30th March – 2nd April, 2017

THEME:                                             “Increasing Chances of Women for Gender Equality”

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS:        74

OBSERVERS:                                   30

BUDGET (proposed):                     Le25, 000,000

INCOME:                                         Le31, 500,000

EXPENDITURE:                          Le31, 500,000

 

INTRODUCTION:

This is in reality, the third AGM of our organisation since its establishment twenty-three years ago. That we, kept to the date we had chosen is a big achievement in the midst of austerity. I take this opportunity to thank you all past and present members of the executive and member organisations for a work well done.

OBJECTIVE OF THE AGM

To take stock of our strengths and weaknesses to identify our challenges and to chat our way forward, through the giving of reports.

OFFICIAL OPENING

The official opening of the AGM was done by the Honourable Minister of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs, who was extremely pleased to be among such a galaxy of women from all over Sierra Leone. She congratulated the Executive for bringing them together. She was pleased that the AGM was held out of Freetown for the first time. She pledged her ministry’s support for the Forum and that better days are ahead. Prior to her statement, policy statements were made by representatives of prominent Stakeholders of Kenema, Sensi, PPRC, UNWomen, Mayor of Kenema, and Civil Society Organisation etc. etc.

PRESENTATION OF PLAQUES

Plaques were distributed to members who had retired Dr. Nana Pratt, Mrs. Rosaline Mcarthy, Honourable Marie Yansaneh, Mrs. Pamela Williams, Ms. Edith Kpendema etc. plaques were also given to the YWCA for support to the Forum and a Forum member of the North, Haja Aminata Koroma for holding the fourth in the North.

BUSINESS SESSION - REPORTS

Format for reporting was developed by the Executive, though this was not strictly adhered to. Reports of the regions were given by the regional coordinators. The national executive gave a detailed comprehensive report it was a collaborative report given by the national secretary, the treasurer and the president.

CHALLENGES

The challenges of the regions are more or less the same. Difficulty in manning the office spaces.

  • Difficulty in holding regional meetings
  • Difficulty in getting members to pay their subscriptions
  • Communication blocks.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Since 60% of women come from the rural areas and they play a multiplicity of roles it is best to deeply involve them in the development process.

  • More inter-regional meetings to be done
  • That institutional support be provided for administration of office spaces

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

This was done by NEC and the PPRC coordinated by the Gender Desk of Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs in Kenema. The President was re-elected with a sounding victory pooling 78% of the votes as against her opponent Rev. Martha Chigozie.

  • President                                            -           Mrs. Maude R. Peacock
  • Vice President                                   -            Mrs. Rosetta Sovula
  • National Secretary                            -             Mrs. Gladys Hastings Spaine
  • Western Area Coordinator               -              Mrs. Sally N. Adams
  • Northern Region Coordinator          -              Mrs. Zainab Y. Koroma
  • Southern Region Coordinator         -               Mrs. Mary Bundu
  • Eastern Region Coordinator                        -  Mrs. Doris Khalil
  • Treasurer                                           -            Mrs. Pamela Williams

PER DIEM

Each delegate was given a per diem of Le150, 000, meant to be paid for their accommodation. Two delegates evacuated their rooms without paying – Soroptimist and Graceland Counseling. This was paid by the President.

THANKSGIVING SERVICE

This took place on the 2nd April, 2017 at the Methodist College Chapel Bumubu. The Preacher was Rev. Dr. Ken Luseni who dilated on our theme. He called on us women to display three qualities Positive Conduct, Behaviour and Character which are critical for leadership. Members of the new executive were inducted. Amount from envelopes distributed was Le500, 000. Le 200,000 was given to the Kenema women as they did not receive per diem. Group’s photographs were taken.

On the whole, the AGM was one of the well organised activities of the Forum held for the first time out of Freetown.

FUNDING      

A budget of Le25, 000,000 was prepared and dispatched to the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs and friends of the Forum.  The Ministry helped with budget item No 2 which was travelling and per diem amounted to Le14, 000,000. Five million was from friends of the Forum:

  • Haja Seray Kallay                                                                             Le   1,000,000
  • Honourable Diana Konomani                                                          Le    2,000,000
  • Honourable Elizabeth Manse                                                          Le    1,000,000
  • Honourable Nanette Thomas                                                          Le    1,000,000
  • Paid up organisations for AGM                                                       Le    4,100,000
  • 2017 Subscriptions                                                                         Le    5,400,000                                                         

Income for AGM        - Le 31,500,000

Expenditure               - Le 31,500,000

 

 

INCOME

  1. Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs                       Le 14,000,000
  2. Haja Seray Kallay                                                                                   Le   1,000,000
  3. Honourable Diana Konomani                                                                Le    2,000,000
  4. Honourable Elizabeth Manse                                                                Le    1,000,000
  5. Honourable Nanette Thomas                                                                Le    1,000,000
  6. Eastern Region                                                                                     Le    1,000,000
  7. Bo Southern Region                                                                             Le    1,000,000
  8. Northern Region                                                                                   Le    1,000,000
  9. Western Area – Subscriptions                                                              Le    5,400,000

AGM                                                                                                              Le    4,100,000

TOTAL                                                                                                   Le31, 500,000

EXPENDITURE AGM

  1. Hall                                                               Le  1,000,000

b) Decoration with generator & mic                        Le    500,000

2.  Travelling- Hiring of 45seater bus                   Le   5,000,000

3. Per Diem Le150, 000 x 74 delegates              Le11, 100,000

4. Refreshments

a) On the Journey                                               Le      935,000

b) Friday dinner                                                   Le   1,800,000

c) Opening ceremony Le25, 000x100                 Le   2,500,000

d) Lunch for Le25, 000x75                                  Le   1,875,000

e) Water bulk sum                                              Le      450,000

f) Soft Drinks 4 crate                                          Le      240,000

g) Breakfast Le10, 000x40x2                             Le      800,000

h) Sunday Lunch Le25, 000x60                         Le   1,500,000

5. Fuel for two vehicles Le6, 000x200x2           Le   1,800,000

6. Drivers Le200, 000x2                                    Le      400,000

7. Plaque Le250, 000x8                                    Le   1,600,000

TOTAL                               Le31, 500,000