Gender discrimination exists in customary law, with regards to property ownership and inheritance rights. It has been shown that the denial of inheritance rights, and the resulting economic vulnerability and tenure insecurity, often prevent women from leaving abusive situations in which they are subject to physical, sexual and/or psychological violence. With the increase in female headed households caused by male fatalities during the conflict, women and girls often lack either the legal means or the cultural community support with which to reclaim their property. Sierra Leone ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1990. To date, however, no reports have been submitted to CEDAW. The government of Sierra Leone has also enacted the “Three Gender Acts of 2007” and the “Sexual Offenses Act of 2012” to prevent sexual and domestic abuse against women and girls and to punish perpetrators.
Environmental screening of the Fisheries sub-components
Environmental screening is designed to make sure that the proposed projects and sub-components are evaluated in such a way that they are aptly classified into a category of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). It also helps to determine the type of EIA instruments necessary for an adequate evaluation based on the nature and scale of the project.
Based on the scale and nature of sub-components described in the project document, the screening procedure for the Fisheries project has been identified and classification done into the following suggested 4 levels: Level 0, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. If the proposed sub-component has severe, adverse, irreversible environmental impacts that cannot be mitigated and within a reasonable timeframe, then a Level III assessment is suggested. This level is akin to an Environmental Impact Assessment. The probability of any sub-component under the Fisheries project to fall in this category is marginal. The Level III assessment will be commissioned at the national level by the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) of MFMR in consultation with the regulator, Environment Protection Agency, Sierra Leone (EPASL).