Sierra Leone: Sister’s Choice Awardee Not Happy With Number of Women Appointees

By Ahmed Sahid Nasralla (De Monk)

On Independence Day, 27 April, 2018, she received the prestigious Sister’s Choice Award for FEMALE BARRISTER of the Year and she dedicated her prize trophy to “all women of Sierra Leone striving to make positive difference”. Most importantly, she further dedicated her award to the new Government of Sierra Leone in the hope that they reflect the much trumpeted 30% quota in all their political appointments.

However, private legal practitioner Mariama Dumbuya is disappointed at the number of women so far appointed by His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio.

“In light of his commitment to the 30% quota in his manifesto, I must say I am not happy with the number of women President Bio has appointed so far,” said Mariama. “My expectation was that we would see women form an integral part of this new administration, but so far it has not been the case and the key governance positions are almost all gone to men.”

Out of about 33 key political appointments announced so far by President Bio, only five are women.

“This is not good for governance considering that women make up half the population of our country,” Mariama noted. “We should always remember to incorporate the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that women and vulnerable people should be included in decision making. The manner in which appointments are made by Governments in Sierra Leone to say the least is discriminatory against women. Government should consider gender parity.”

However, Mariama is optimistic women will make up the numbers in subsequent appointments and believes the few women appointees will make a difference.

“Nevertheless, I have no doubt and hope that the women so nominated will ensure that they deliver positive results so that our male folks will have more trust in women to get them to increase the number of women in governance positions,” she said.

Mariama Dumbuya is a private legal practitioner with over 18 years of experience in civil, commercial and corporate legal practice. She has over the years, represented most of the banks in Sierra Leone, NGO’s, private companies, local and international clients. She was a partner in the firm of Renner Thomas & Co, a private commercial firm, till 2014 when she went into partnership with three male colleagues to set up a commercial private legal firm called Lambert & Partners.

Mariama Dumbuya is a holder of World Bank Doing Business award for three years in partnership with the World Bank Doing Business Team.

A committed human rights activist and past President of Legal Access Through Women Yearning for Equality Rights and Social Justice (L.A.W.Y.E.R.S), Mariama renders help to many humanitarian organisations by assisting them legally and/or otherwise on various human rights projects. She helps to set up and promote many organisations that focus on enhancing the plight of women, girls, children and the vulnerable in Sierra Leone.

She’s happily married and a mother of two girls.