Sierra Leone has taken several legal and institutional steps to strengthen governance for gender equality. It has ratified and domesticated the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). It recently submitted the 5th and 6th CEDAW Report to the CEDAW. Sierra Leone has also set up institutions with regional structures, such as the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, to promote women’s rights.
A Family Support Unit (FSU) mechanism has been instituted to address domestic violence and, through the decentralization programme, women’s participation in the affairs of their communities through the Ward Committee system has been enhanced. Above all, women have acceded to elective and high appointive offices such as ministerial positions, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and Head of the National Electoral Commission. Despite these achievements and the constitutional provisions against discrimination and violence against women, there are many areas where gender equality and women empowerment in Sierra Leone are still lacking.