Map of Sierra Leone

Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment

Speeches Shim

USAID helps empower women in Sierra Leone through continuous sensitization, training in leadership skills, advocacy and planning and entrepreneurship.
USAID helps empower women in Sierra Leone through continuous sensitization, training in leadership skills, advocacy and planning and entrepreneurship.
USAID

Sierra Leonean women are at risk for sexual and gender-based violence in the form of domestic violence, sexual assault of adults and minors, marital rape, school-related sexual abuse, and harmful traditional practices like female genital mutilation. 

USAID is engaging a broad range of stakeholders to identify the various drivers of sexual and gender-based violence across different segments of the population around the country, and will support local organizations in developing and piloting interventions designed to reduce its prevalence while maintaining cultural and social integrity.

Women account for 52 percent of the total population in Sierra Leone yet occupy less than 20 percent of elected positions. Their voice, visibility, participation, and representation in elective and appointment positions remain very low compared to men. Some of these challenges include lack of economic independence, high illiteracy and entrenched customs and traditions, and the lack of confidence to vie for public positions 

Women and Economic Growth 

Women in Sierra Leone have always made vital contributions to the economy and have often played a substantial role in the subsistence of their families. In the rural labor force, women provide more than 60 percent of farm labor for food production, but this forms part of a larger power dynamic problem as men still possess greater access to ownership and control of the production, reducing women to marginal positions. In recent years the government and its partners, including USAID, have been focusing on providing women with access to financial services as it has the potential to act as a catalyst for enhancing women’s economic, social and political empowerment. This access helps mobilize their productive capacity to alleviate poverty and to maximize economic output.

 

Last updated: July 21, 2021

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