Sierra Leone passes law reserving 30% of positions in public, private sectors for women

Sierra Leone has enacted a law meant to reserve 30 percent of positions for women.

 

The law, called the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Act, was signed by President Julius Maada Bio on Thursday.

 

According to Bloomberg, the act mandates 30 percent of seats in parliament and cabinet reserved for women.

 

It also requires companies to set aside 30 percent of senior-level jobs for women, with equal pay and at least 14 weeks of maternity leave.

Sierra Leone passes law reserving 30% of positions in public, private sectors for women
Sierra Leone passes law reserving 30% of positions in public, private sectors for women

The law seeks to increase the number of women in decision-making roles in both private and public sectors.

 

Employers who fail to meet the quota risk a fine of at least 50,000 new leones ($2,580), and jail sentences of at least three years for denying equal financial support.

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In a post on Twitter, the Sierra Leone president, who is running for a second and final five-year term in office, described the law as “a real change”.

 

“Today, Thursday, January 19 2023, I signed into law The Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) ACT 2022. REAL CHANGE has been ushered into our great nation,” he wrote.

 

“The Bill will also revolutionise our government’s engagement with WOMEN – making them equal partners in our task to build a strong and vibrant country. Thank you to ALL stakeholders for the actualisation of this landmark ACT. Women’s rights are Human rights.”

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Bio has reportedly named just four women to his 28-member cabinet since he first took office in 2018.

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