In an effort to promote sustainable peace and gender equality in Sierra Leone, Joan M. S.Bull Esq, the Head of the Legal and Justice Support Department at Sierra Leone Police (SLP), recently delivered a compelling presentation at a training event on “Gender Responsive Post Election Security and Justice.”
The training, organized by the Mano River Union Women Peace Network (MARWOPNET) (SL) chapter in collaboration with the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (UNPBF), aimed to build sustainable peace in various districts across the country.
During her presentation, Bull, a renowned transnational organized crime expert and cyber expert, emphasized the importance of women’s participation in politics and the critical role of the security sector in ensuring a safe and secure electoral environment that upholds democratic principles.
She shed light on the specific challenges faced by women when participating in elections and how these obstacles affect their safety and willingness to engage in the electoral process. Additionally, Bull explored the ways in which the security sector can protect and promote women during and after elections.
The training session proved to be both enlightening and engaging, with participants representing various political parties, civil society organizations, justice sector actors, non-state actors, community leaders, and academia.
Bull’s presentation sparked thoughtful discussions and provided a valuable platform for stakeholders to exchange ideas and strategies for creating a more inclusive and equitable electoral system.
Bull’s expertise and extensive background in law enforcement and gender issues made her a highly qualified and impactful speaker for the event. Notably, she holds a Chevening Alumni distinction, indicating her recognition as a future leader and influencer, and has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. Currently pursuing an LLM in IP at UNH Franklin Pierce Law School, Bull’s dedication to advancing gender equality and justice is evident in her commitment to continuous education and professional development.
In her closing remarks, Bull expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to represent the Sierra Leone Police and contribute to the dialogue surrounding gender-responsive post-election security and justice. She emphasized that fostering an inclusive society requires the collective efforts of all stakeholders, including the security sector, to ensure that women are not only able to participate in politics but also feel safe and empowered to do so.
The training event organized by MARWOPNET (SL) and the UNPBF serves as a significant step towards building sustainable peace in Sierra Leone. By addressing the challenges faced by women in the electoral process and raising awareness among diverse stakeholders, the training contributes to the ongoing efforts to create an environment that upholds democratic principles and safeguards the rights and participation of women in political decision-making.