The 50/50 Group has succeeded in implementing activities towards achieving the objective set under its 2010 training and capacity building programmes. The implementation of these training and capacity building activities have been facilitated through funds secured from Trocaire-Ireland with support from DFID, African Women Development Fund, Opportunity fund of the World Justice Project, Westminster Foundation for Democracy and several others. Additional opportunities for implementing these training activities became possible through the support of UNDP and ENCISS. Specific training activities implemented over the year are as follows:
Leadership Training for Women – Breaking Barriers to Democratic Politics
To achieve a strategic mandate of the organisation in influencing women’s participation in democratic politics, a two-week long training for breaking barriers ensued between January and March targeting fifty women in a three day intensive Training of Trainers workshop in Kono and Western Rural Districts. These trainings were preceded by another group of cascaded trainings for over two hundred grassroots women. These trainings were meant to provide knowledge and advocacy for overcoming traditional/ cultural, religious and political barriers/ obstacles that impede women’s participation in politics and governance on the one hand and further seek to strengthen human rights awareness among women particularly those rights relating to political participation and decision making processes.
- A training manual to guide the training process was produced and contained some of the following specific topics
- Human Rights and Women’s right to participate in democratic politics
- Breaking barriers to women’s participation in democratic governance and women’s empowerment.
- How to join a political party and advance within it.
- Public Speaking Skills
- Leadership and team building skills etc.
- These trainings benefited a total of 250 grassroots women including women leaders, religious and traditional leaders and civil society activists.
Training on Human Rights and the Rule of Law
The Rule of Law is generally a legal political concept which restrains the government by promoting certain liberties and creating order and stability in the governance of the country. Due to the high illiteracy rate among the women of Sierra Leone, the organisation thought it wise that since rights are protected within the law, it was necessary that our women especially at the grassroots understand the fundamental issues about rights and how the law can help protect these rights. There was great understanding that advocacy on rights goes with knowledge of these rights.
With funding from ENCISS (supported by DFID), the group embarked on a massive nationwide training of women and traditional leaders in human rights and the rule of Law. Two prominent legal consultants met to develop the training manuals which contained some of the following topics:
- Understanding the concept of the Rule of the Law
- Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances
- Economic and political governance
- The concept of Accountability
- International Human Rights Instruments
- Access to Justice and the Culture of Impunity
- The 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone
These trainings were delivered in eight locations in the four ENCISS operational areas. They were conducted in Waterloo, Regent and Matindi in the Western Rural District, Mattru Jong and Bonthe Town in the south, Makeni and Kamabai in the Bombali District and Kabala, all in the north of the Country. A total of about three hundred women benefited from these trainings including fifty traditional/ religious leaders.