Women, Peace and Security in the era of COVID-19  

In 2019, female Honourable members of Parliament of the Sierra Leone Parliament were engaged in the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda as espoused in the various National Action Plans on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR-1325).

This engagement proved to be a good initiative for women parliamentarians and particularly for a new Parliament at the time. In the outcry of the COVID-19, what has been slower to emerge is how regulations and bye-laws instituted could embrace gender specific issues that affect women.


Today, all 16 current female Members of Parliament (MPs) of the Sierra Leone House of Parliament are now leading and are ‘breaking the silence’ on women, peace and security issues in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in Sierra Leone. With support from UNDP, the Female Caucus of the Sierra Leone Parliament has taken a step further to invest more time and dialogue with stakeholders to increase understanding of the impact of the COVID crises on women’s peace and security, to call for action that would incorporate gender sensitive community byelaws at constituency level, while at the same time partnering with TV and community radio stations to accentuate these issues.


“You don’t have much voice when you are not at the helm of affairs. We are calling for total inclusion of women into every structure of the COVID-19 response in Sierra Leone from district to national level. This is true because out-of-pocket-cost for women’s wellbeing (healthcare, transportation of market/business products, and other social needs) has significantly increased during the pandemic. Women are also facing increasing distressing challenges especially with petty trading, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, and abuse of women and girls are exacerbated under lockdowns,” says the President of the Female Parliamentary Caucus-Honourable Veronica Kadie Sesay of Constituency 094, Moyamba District.


According to the country’s 2015 Population and Housing Census’ Thematic Report on Economic Characteristics, women account for about 57% of the informal sector’s workforce. Economically therefore, women who form the bulk of petty traders, suffer economic loss due to limited trading hours and increased cost of transporting goods-associated with the inter-district lockdown in the country. The halt to cross border activities and the accompanying forced compliance measures have far reaching implications for women. With limited access to basic services and in desperation to perform their reproductive roles of nurturing, women are found in conflict with the law with dire consequences. The current COVID-19 preventive measures taken seem to threaten women’s peace and security. This prevailing economic challenge and lockdown measures could also increase potential for domestic violence within families while making women and girls vulnerable to sex predators.


Thanks to the female honourable MPs who have recognized the current need to translate down to the country context, an engendered response to women vulnerability during a pandemic in line with international commitments.


Interestingly, Paramount Chief Members of Parliament who are the custodians of the country’s cultures and traditions are not left behind either, as part of the Female Parliamentary Caucus, they are highly revered with much need reverence just as well as in their various districts.


Already, women in the various constituencies have embraced the unwavering leadership of the Caucus with positive sentiments and feedbacks being garnered during phone in sessions-an airtime slot allocated during the MPs radio and TV discussion programs to solicit real time concerns from the general population for further engagements. The media campaigns at district level are followed by direct engagement with community structures, women’s groups and the large constituencies as well as people’s elected representatives so that collectively, they can map out ways to implement preventative measures from a gender perspective more so when they relate to women’s peace and security. This initiative is made possible with funding from the Norwegian Government.


Source: UNDP-Sierra Leone


Most Viewed Posts

    By THE MANO RIVER WOMEN PEACE NETWORK (MARWOPNET) SIERRA LEONE CHAPTER To all MARWOPNET (SL) share this peace message with Sierra Leoneans directly and by extension all citizens of the Mano River Basin and beyond on the occasion of International Day of Peace. This is because we are a sub-regional women Peace Network whose distinctive […]
  • Introduction of Online Voting: IPAM Sets another Record in Africa (Forum) (2)
    By Alhaji Dauda M Bangura Under the energetic and innovative leadership of the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM), Prof. Edmond Nonie, the university has for the first time in the history of Sierra Leone and in the West Africa sub-region, set up an online Students’ Union (SU) Voting […]
  • Caritas Freetown Empower 30 Women (Forum) (2)
    After a successful one-year business, 30 women of Tissana Village, Russel along the Freetown Peninsular axis were so joyous to share-out eighty million Leones among themselves in their Savings and Loans Association (VSLA). The VSLA was formed some three years ago in that community by Caritas Freetown -Justice and Peace Commission (CF-JPC) in partnership with […]
  • Manso Dumbuya Declares For SLPP Regional Chairman (Forum) (2)
    The incumbent Chairman for the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) in the Western Region, Hon. Manso A. Dumbuya aka Top Up has officially declared for a second and final term. He made this declaration at a well-attended gathering of all constituencies and districts delegates of Western Area on Sunday 19th September 2021 at John James […]
  • NATCOM Asks Le 292bn from Govt. (Forum) (2)
    By Henry Kargbo The Director-General of the National Telecommunication Commission, Mr Daniel B. Kaitibi has said in Freetown that NATCAM generated Le 292bn revenue for government in 2020. He disclosed that the commission also generated Le 29.6bn from January to August 2021. NATCOM DG Kaitini Thursday 23 September 2021made the pronouncement whiles making a request […]
  • NDC Expose APC ‘Enemies of Progress’ (Forum) (2)
    The main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) has publicly exposed what the party recently described as ‘enemies of progress’ who are causing problems within the party. The revelations were made by the APC Chairman and Leader at opening of the party’s Emergency National Delegates’ Conference, hosted at the regional secretariat, North in Makeni, from 17-19 […]
  • Fulbright Fellow Meet Higher Education Minister (Forum) (3)
    The Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU) on Tuesday 28th September 2021 officially presented the Fulbright Fellow recruited by the America Government, Professor Desmond Brown to the Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Professor Alpha Wurie at the Ministry ‘s New England Ville conference room in Freetown. The Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Professor Alpha […]
  • RC Bank MD Wowed Canadian College Students With Powerful Motivational Speech (Forum) (3)
    The Canadian College for Modern Technology in Mile 91 has played host to Sierra Leone's foremost Motivational Speaker who also doubles as the Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank. On the invitation of the college administration, Dr Ekundayo Walton Gilpin, was at the College for a motivational speaking session on the topic, "Creating Your Tomorrow […]
  • The APC Is Stronger and Ready (Forum) (3)
    22nd September, 2021 The events of the last few days have been very historic for one of Sierra Leone's, and indeed, one of Africa's oldest and most successful political parties. The All People's Congress (APC) of Sierra Leone has endured more than three very turbulent years following the 2018 general elections. But once again, the […]
  • USL Goes to Pujehun (Forum) (4)
    By Alhaji Dauda Musa Bangura On Friday 1st October, 2021, history was made in Pujehun District when the University of Sierra Leone management team formally commissioned the first-ever USL branch in this district. This historic landmark achievement occurred under the watch of the USL Vice Chancellor and Principal, Brigadier General Prof. Foday Sahr and Deputy […]
  • Liberian Foreign Minister Meets President Koroma (Forum) (4)
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh, who was on a tri-nation tour of the Mano River Union region on Thursday (1st September 2011), delivered a letter conveying a special message from the Chairman of the MRU, Her Excellency Madam President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to President Dr. Ernest […]
  • Obasanjo Lauds Koroma’s Development Drive Obasanjo Lauds Koroma’s Development Drive (Forum) (4)
    FREETOWN: The former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo has on Friday 26th August 2011 commended the government of Sierra Leone under the leadership of President Ernest Koroma, for the developmental gains that have taken place in the country in barely less than four years of effective governance.His good opinion was given to the government and people […]
  • NCD in Face-To-Face Meeting with Pupils (Forum) (4)
    To commemorate International Day of Democracy (IDD), the National Commission for Democracy (NCD), Western Region, on Monday 20th September 2021 organized a face-to-face meeting with selected pupils of some secondary schools in the Western Area at the HEAL-Sierra Leone E-Learning House, 40 Sanders Street in Freetown on the theme “Strengthening Democratic Resilience in the Face […]
  • Guma Targets 9.9bn Debt Recovery (Forum) (4)
     By Henry Kargbo  Managing Director of Guma Valley Water Company Maada S Kpenge has disclosed that Guma is targeting 9.9 billion Leones debt recovery for 2022 fiscal year. He made this disclosure during their annual 2022 budget presentation at the Ministry of Finance. He said that the recovery is part of debts Ministries Departments and […]
  • Sierra Leone Participates in Chinese Ningxia Expo (Forum) (5)
    Sierra Leone was among Africans and non-Africans countries that participated in the first International China’s Wine Culture and Tourism Expo. The Expo which kicks off to bring worldwide wine lovers was sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries […]