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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

A Sickening Civil Society in Sierra Leone: Where are the Womensí Organisations?
By Sylvia Olayinka Blyden
Sep 16, 2011, 16:00
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I have been consistent in my condemnation of some of these female advocacy organisations in this country and the recent loud silence from them in the wake of the macheting of Madam Zainab Mansaray has simply justified my condemnation.

 

Let me first state very clearly that I do not know Zainab Mansaray and I am yet to meet her in person but I listened to her tale of woe and I watched televised images of the horror inflicted on her back.

 

At a time when so-called civil society organisations claim to be advocating for 50-50 (actually 30% quota is the latest jingle!) and wanting more women to participate in Sierra Leone politics, where are their voices in this case? Is this the country which is claiming to be fighting to empower women in politics?

 

A leading female politician in the Southern Province was stripped stark naked and machete on her back for no other reason than she is a member of the All Peoples Congress and I am yet to hear the expected cacophony of condemnation for such an act except for one Press Release from APPWA.

 

Where has our moral conscience disappeared to?

 

Where are the Women Solidarity Support Group and the 50-50 Group and all the other so-called Ďfightersí for more women in political realm of Sierra Leone?

 

Meanwhile, at the end of this piece follows my email response to a so-called Civil Society Release on the violence in Bo which remembered to condemn the violence against inanimate buildings but forgot to condemn the violence against a living woman who was cowardly attacked simply because of the politics she practise Ė which she is constitutionally guaranteed to do.

 

Whilst I congratulate APPWA for their leadership in condemning what should be so abhorrent to us all, let me end by saying: Sierra Leone Women Groups, I am so disappointed in many of you!


Hi,

This release is timely but it is a big shame that civil society could denounce violence against buildings but conveniently forget to denounce the political violence against a woman in the person of Zainab Mansaray. A BIG SHAME TO THE PERSONS WHO CRAFTED THAT RELEASE.

Women are physically weak and thus vulnerable to despicable cowardly attacks so special attention must always be paid to them in such circumstances. Why did the goons who attacked her not attack the male APC members with cutlasses?

I am ashamed of the release from civil society for forgetting to include a denunciation of the violent attack on Zainab Mansaray. She was not injured by a stray bullet but was specifically identified and assaulted because of her politics. Whether you hate her for her politics or not, you should not have kept silent on the specificity of the attack on her person. I am ashamed of you guys.

You better go back and re-write that release if you want to be taken seriously by some of us.

Thanks for your attention.
Sylvia Blyden.


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