Participants from Governments, Media, Civil Society, Inter-Governmental bodies, from eleven West African countries (Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, The Gambia, Mali, Togo, and Liberia) have adopted a Declaration called the “SALY DELCARATATION ON WOMEN’S ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND RIGHT TO COMMUNICATE (December 2020)” after a three-day meeting in Saly-Senegal on December 8-10, 2020, under the aegis of Panos Institute West Africa (PIWA) and its partners.
The resolutions reached recommended among other issues that Governments shall set up information and documentation centers (physical and digital) to facilitate access to information for citizens, especially women; and to Decentralize and Digitize access to information that will enhance proper records and data management.
It shall also produce gender-specific data to enable women to make informed decisions and also to better participate in governance; should capacitate the media to produce comprehensive and gender-sensitive information; should Amend any law(s) that limit women’s access to information and to communicate and encourage countries that already have access to information laws to amend their laws to specifically recognize and guarantee women’s rights of access to information and to ensure that the implementation of these laws specifically give effect to women’s rights.
It could be recalled that four delegates from various institutions in Sierra Leone including the Ministry of Information and Communications, the National Commission for Civic Education and Development (NaCCED), Women in the Media Sierra Leone and Network Movement for Justice and Development (NMJD) participated in the three days colloquium held in the Senegal (Royal Hotel) from the 8 – 10 December, 2020.
Organised by Panos West Africa Institute (PIWA) in collaboration with UN Women, UNESCO and other partners, the objective of the meeting was to strengthen synergies for the promotion of the right of access to information and women’s right to communicate.
It was also aimed at facilitating the exchange, within countries and at regional level, initiatives, experiences and good practices in the promotion of Right to Access Information (RTI), and its follow-up.