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28 March 2017 17:45 (South Africa)

Sierra Leonean women fight for right to be chiefs

A Sierra Leonean traditional group besieged a woman's house after she launched a court bid to become a chief. The woman was not allowed to participate in an election to be chief because of her sex. After losing an appeal against the ban, her supporters in women's rights groups say they will take her case to the supreme court. But the BBC says politicians are afraid of angering traditionalists, and of angering women, too, so they have stuck their heads in the sand and left it to the courts. Women are not allowed to become chiefs in the north of the country, but can do so in most of the east and the south. It’s going to be an interesting case, and it sounds as if the judge will have to watch out for the wrath of women. He will likely have struck rock over the complexities of Sierra Leonean politics, land ownership, inheritance and divorce in this sexist battle. And, your honour, there is national precedence for women chiefs. Read more: Reuters, VOA

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