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Yet the palm tree and the rice grain are the national symbols par excellence, immortalized in currency, song, and folklore, and valued for their central and staple contributions to everyday life.
In 1930 women were given the right to vote, according to local lawyer J. Zizer this could be attributed to the numbers of women who now worked in the civil service where their employment terms were equal to their male counterparts. In 1989, UNICEF reported that on average a woman in Sierra Leone worked up to 16 hours a day and that the majority were surviving on just one meal per day.
There are a wide variety of ecological and agricultural zones to which people have adapted.
Starting in the west, Sierra Leone has some 250 miles (400 kilometers) of coastline, giving it both bountiful marine resources and attractive tourist potential.
The name "Sierra Leone" dates back to 1462, when Portuguese explorer Pedro da Cintra, sailing down the West African coast, saw the tall mountains rising up on what is now the Freetown Peninsula and called them the "Lion Mountains," or " Serra Lyoa ." Successive visits by English sailors and later British colonization modified the name to "Sierra Leone." Despite distinctive regional variations in language and local traditions, Sierra Leoneans today are united by many factors, such as their shared lingua franca Krio, widespread membership in men's and women's social associations and societies, and even sporting events, especially when the national football (soccer) team plays.
At the same time, a worsening domestic economy, declining infrastructure, and deteriorating health conditions have prevented the country's progress, and have to some extent hindered the development of a strong sense of collective pride or shared national identification, especially in the rural areas outside the capital city. Sierra Leone is located on the west coast of Africa, north of the equator.In addition, there are a number of people of Lebanese descent, whose ancestors fled Turkish persecution in Lebanon in the late nineteenth century.