• Service: Advisory
  • Type: KPMG information
  • Date: 12/18/2013

Campaign results in more women elected to public office  

In the Sierra Leone elections of 2012, Kailahun was the only district which exceeded its 30% quota of women candidates. 36% of councillor nominations (31 of 89) were women, with 41% (12 of 29) being elected. 28% (5 of 18) MP candidates from the district were women, with 13% (1 of 8) being elected into national office. In the long‐term, this will improve decision‐making to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalised are addressed.
Download Now
PDF files require Adobe Reader to view

Key elements of context


  • UNDP ranked Sierra Leone 177 of 186 in terms of human development (2012), with over 77% of the 6.2 million population living below the poverty line. Kailahun District recorded the second highest incidence of poverty.
  • Sierra Leone suffers from large disparities in gender equality, ranking 139 out of 146 in the UNDP Gender Inequality Index (2012).
  • The government of Sierra Leone has a target of 30% female candidates for representation in public office. However, scant resource and effort is put into enforcing the target – In 2004 women accounted for 14 of 124 MPs (11%) and in 2008 they accounted for 17 seats (14%). This figure dropped to 15 seats (12%) in the recent 2012 elections.
  • In 2008, 4 of the 37 elected MPs and District Councillors in Kailahun were Women. Participation in politics and governance has been inhibited by: illiteracy; lack of self‐belief and confidence; male dominated electoral system; low collaboration among women's groups; lack of public decisionmaking experience; socio‐cultural norms which reinforce the role of women as the subservient gender; failure of political parties to nominate women candidates; traditional authority structures which promote male dominated leadership; lack of resources for campaigning.
  • Women who do hold office are frequently subject to gender‐based discrimination. This limits their ability to advocate for women's issues and promote increased female participation, and also acts as a deterrent for potential candidates. Prior to the GTF there was very little support for women in positions of power in Kailahun.