Those democracies should have led the way for female presidency. The United Kingdom had had Margaret Thatcher and now it has Theresa May as the Head of Government in her capacity as Prime Minister.
America that is seen as the pioneer of democracy has never given a woman that opportunity to serve as their Commander-in-Chief; from George Washington to Donald John Trump, the country has been ruled by 45 presidents and all of them have been men. You would want to ask why.
In the last elections that ushered in Donald Trump as President, there was this global clamour for the former Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton to be elected President. The people of America heeded to that clamorous call and voted in Hilary Clinton, but the Electoral College did not heed to the call. They voted in a man-Donald Trump.
The Electoral College comprises the stalwarts and elites-perceived enlightened personalities. They demonstrated that they were not ready to be ruled by a woman.
But surprisingly in Africa, the Liberians voted Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the first female President. That singular decision in my view has broken the glass ceilings in the continent. The only problem now in the continent is having women who are confident, competent and have the charisma come forward to express their interest for the top job. Very recently in Kenya, 23 year old Suzanne Silantoi contested for Senator (MP) in Nairobi County. Though she did not win, she pulled 32,000 votes. That was inspiring for Young Women in Sierra Leone ‘Not too young to Run’.
Here in Sierra Leone, Dr. Haja Zainab Hawa Bangura vied for the Presidential Ticket of the ruling All People’s Congress Party, she was denied and not even given an opportunity to go into contest and let the delegates decide whom they wanted to be their candidate for the 2018 Presidential Election.
Her male counterpart Dr. Samura Kamara was appointed and anointed by the party’s leadership. She was not even considered for the second spot. And don’t conclude that I’m only making these statements because she is a woman. I am making these statements because she is competent, confident and charismatic of a woman. She has a proven track record having served in various capacities both nationally and internationally.
The recent National Population and Housing Census revealed that Sierra Leone women make the bulk of the country’s population accounting for about 52%. That is huge. Our constitution requires that a Presidential candidate must secure 55% of the total votes cast to be declared winner.
The aftermath of the 11years civil war saw the upsurge of different organizations fighting for the empowerment and inclusion of women in politics and decision making positions. These organizations are calling for women to be seen as integral component within the governance structure of the country.
In as much as we have problems with women presenting themselves in the fore, we have one who has met the Political Parties Registration Commission’s criteria and her face would be on the ballot box as a Presidential candidate. Femi Claudius Cole of the Unity Party is out now looking for support so that she can be the next elected President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Her movement met the criteria set by the Commission and she had received her certificate to operate as a fully fledged political party in the country. With that huge percentage of 52, it’s sure a win for Femi Claudius Cole if…
Now, those women organizations should be seen more practical, far-sighted and heartfelt in their campaigns and advocacies. This is the time for their genuine nature be demonstrated. I have few questions running through…
Can they forgo their political parties and fight for a common goal of having the only (so far) female Presidential candidate elected President, Fountain of Honour and Justice, Commander-in-Chief, Grand Commander of the Rokel and the Custodian of the Constitution of Sierra Leone?
Why can’t these women break the glass ceilings in 2018 and set a record for the better?
Should not these different women organizations turn campaign groups for Femi Claudius Cole and all other women seeking symbols to vie for political positions even at the local level?
With 52%, all that is needed now is an addition of 3% which if the women need; they can get. We now need to see what will be the role of the women in the aspiration of Femi and other women seeking to represent their constituents in parliament and wards at the local council level. YES, IF THEY WANT HER, THEY CAN MAKE HER THE NEXT PRESIDENT.