The National Electoral Commission with support of the European Union yesterday launched its Gender and Disability Policies at Golden Tulip Hotel in Freetown. At the launch attended by all major electoral stakeholders, the EU encouraged the government and the Parliament to embark on the long awaited electoral legal reform process, which provides unique opportunities to address the recommendations issued by the 2018 electoral observer groups in respect to gender and disability.
The newly adopted policy documents demonstrate commitment of the NEC to mainstream gender and disability perspectives into the NEC’s strategies, electoral procedures, guidelines and monitoring processes and to engage with state institutions, political parties and electoral stakeholders to ensure more women and people with disabilities’ involvement in forthcoming elections as voters, contestants and electoral staff.
The policies will be rolled out throughout September in Freetown, Kenema, Bo, Makeni and Portloko with participation of a wide spectrum of electoral stakeholders. These events will help galvanise public interest to encourage their representatives to move towards ensuring that relevant legal reforms are pursued to entrench the full participation of women and persons with disabilities in representative positions.
The EU's support to the NEC is an integral part of the financial agreement signed with the Government of Sierra Leone in October 2017 to ensure continuation of the partner support to the NEC in post-election period, with the overall objective to strengthen democracy in Sierra Leone.