Supporting Women to Aspire to Election to Political Office in Sierra Leone: The experience of the PACER project
The Promoting a Culture of Equal Representation (PACER) project is implemented jointly by the 50/50 Group of Sierra Leone and Oxfam GB, and is co-funded by DFID and UNDEF. It contributes to the Government of Sierra Leone’s efforts to reduce marginalisation and vulnerability by developing a culture of equal representation and participation of women and men in political life and development processes and initiatives. The project has been highly participatory. In order to achieve its aims without creating friction with traditional governance systems and culture, PACER has involved all key stakeholders and has worked with existing social networks. PACER demonstrated tangible success at the 2007 and 2008 elections. It supported seven of the 16 elected women parliamentarians and 291 women local council aspirants in the districts of Kailahun and Koinadugu. Of these, 31 were nominated as candidates and nine were eventually elected. This case study highlights the key lessons coming out of the PACER project so far and identifies areas that can be strengthened in future.
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