Sierra Leone’s Women Forum Secretary General heads to High Level African Women Leaders meeting in New York

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 May 2018

Mrs. Gladys Hastings Spaine, the elected Secretary-General of the Women’s Forum of Sierra Leone is today flying out of Sierra Leone to attend the “High-Level Women Leaders Forum for Africa’s Transformation.”

The Forum is scheduled to take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from Wednesday 31st May to Friday 2nd June, 2017.

This High-Level meeting will bring together approximately 80 participants from across Africa, including women in leadership in politics and the public sector, in business, in civil society and the media. The event is co-hosted by the German Government, the African Union and UN WOMEN.

Acknowledging Mrs. Hastings Spaine’s attendance at the event, the organiser said: “I take this opportunity to reiterate our delight to count you among the participants of this essential initiative for the empowerment of African women”.

Mrs. Hastings Spaine was nominated to represent Sierra Leone by the Hon. Minister of Social Welfare, Gender & Children’s Affairs.

Mrs. Hastings Spaine is the daughter of famous Aberdeen village patriarch – the late Reverend Lusgrave Davies She is married into another famous family of noted pedigree – the Hastings Spaine family.

In Kenema last month, she was elected as the National Secretary General of Women’s Forum with a landslide victory. She is a well respected and noted gender activist. She is also an elected Board member of the MRU sub-regional women’s peace network – MARWOPNET,  which spans four countries.

Gladys is active across several other women organisations – either as the leader or as an executive member.  A regular participant at the CSW Meetings in New York, Hastings Spaine is also one of the few experts on Gender Sensitive Budgeting in Sierra Leone.

She is a recognised expert in Elections in West Africa, as well as being an ongoing academic researcher in ‘Conjugal Slavery’, with specific attention on the rights and reparations due to women who are victims of war and sexual slavery.

Mrs. Gladys Hastings Spaine (Photo) is currently a Board Member of the Residual Issues and Peace Museum of the Special Court for Sierra Leone – a position she has held for the last four years. Indeed, she has held and undertaken all her public positions and appointments with distinction.

The Women’s Forum in Sierra Leone has been in solid existence for more than two decades.  It is recognised by the State as the umbrella body for all Women’s groups in Sierra Leone.

WOMEN’S FORUM is currently the key non-governmental partner of the Government of Sierra Leone on all matters relating to Gender and Women’s issues. In its corporate vision, it sees a Sierra Leone in which women in all parts of the country, irrespective of tribe, religion, culture, education or socio economic status, are empowered to access available opportunities to build their capacity in a peaceful environment where women and children’s rights are respected and protected.

The Mission of Women’s Forum is to maintain a vibrant network of Women’s organisations, associations and groups, through information sharing and influencing of policy; as well as promoting respect for womanhood, women’s solidarity, transparency and rule of law, love for the acquisition of knowledge, willingness and readiness to learn and share.

The aims of WOMEN’S FORUM SIERRA LEONE are to advance the status of women; the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of all women in Sierra Leone.

The three day event, which is taking place at the UN – starting on Wednesday, 31st of May, will witness the launch of a new initiative – the ‘African Women Leaders Network’ by the African Union Commission, UN Women and the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN.

The African Women Leaders Network will serve as a platform to enhance the leadership of women in the transformation of Africa, with a focus on governance, peace and stability.

Several dignitaries from Africa will also be attending this all important event in New York, including the former President of CAR – H.E. Catherine Samba Panza (Photo), who is the third woman to be President of an African Nation; H.E. Ms. Minata Samate Cessouma – African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs; H.E. Ms. Bineta Diop – African Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace & Security; H.E. Ambassador Patricia Flor – a Director-General at the Foreign Office in Germany; and of course, Madam Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka – the Executive Director of UN Women, who is one of the constant bulwark for Women’s Empowerment in the world today.

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