Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a small country located along the West Coast of Africa. It is borded on the south-east by Liberia, on the north, north-west and north-east by Guinea, and on the west and south-west by the Atlantic Ocean. The land area measures approximately 71,740 sq km (about 45,000 sq miles). There is a low-lying coastal plain about 80 kms deep with the exception of the Freetown Peninsula, which is dominated by hills. Sierra Leone is divided into four administrative regions: north, south, east and west, and further divided into 12 districts. The Western Area where the capital city is based is divided into Western Urban and Western Rural. As at 2009 Sierra Leone’s population stood at 5,473,530 of which 53% or 2,743,560 represent the female population.

Sierra Leone is endowed with various natural resources – arable lands, marine and fresh water resources, and wide ranging mineral resources including diamond, gold, bauxite, rutile, iron ore cocoa, coffee, and fish. The country depends on the primary agricultural and mineral products to fuel its economy which constitute the bulk of the total exports for foreign exchange.  In the agriculture sector, fishing provides employment for about 75% of the population; and accounts for about 46% (2007) of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Generally, Sierra Leone’s economic performance of growth is driven mainly by the intensification and expansion of agricultural activities, investment in basic infrastructure, and expansion in the construction and services sectors.

UN Women in Sierra Leone

UN Women is poised to ensure that the women of Sierra Leone benefit from the many new developments taking place in the country. In engendering the  Agenda for Prosperity (Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper -PRSP III), UN Women not only saw that gender issues were mainstreamed across its seven pillars but advocated for the establishment of  a self-standing pillar on gender, the first ever in Africa. UN Women, in collaboration with the Gender Technical Team, supports women in Sierra Leone through: providing technical assistance to the women’s civil society groups and Ministry of Gender  in preparation for the constitutional review and land tenure policy review; the promising catalytic role of the Sierra Leone Parliamentary Female Caucus (SLEFPAC); preparing sensitization trainings for women on the gender equality bill; and preparing and offering gender training to women at all levels of governance from national to local, from the pinnacle institution (parliament) to women in local governance, women in politics (the All Political Parties Women’s Association), women executives,  and finally women in paramilitary and law enforcement institutions.

Ongoing Programmes:

  • Let’s promote justice for our women and girls in Sierra Leone
  • Peace consolidation through increased participation of women in decision making in Sierra Leone
  • Empowering teenage girls through life skills training