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Gender Minister: Liberia’s electoral law not gender-sensitive

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By Kruah Thompson (Intern)

The minister of gender, children, and social protection laments that the legal framework governing elections in Liberia is still not gender-sensitive, noting that efforts to amend the law since 2005 have not been successful despite five attempts.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, September 23, 2021, Minister Wilhelmina Saydee Tarr recalled that in 2014, the Legislature amended Section 4.5 of the new election law.

She says the amendment stipulates that all political parties or coalitions, submitting a list of candidates to the National Elections Commission must endeavor to ensure their governing bodies constitute not less than 30 percent of each gender.

Minister Tarr notes the phrase “should endeavor to insure ”  is open to several interpretations, adding some wonder whether Section 4.5 requires political parties to present candidates’ list that has not less than 30 percent women or requires them to do so.

Also with support from UN Women and the Swedish Embassy in Monrovia, the ministry of gender has validated and endorsed a strategy plan that runs from 2021 to 2023.

Minister Tarr explains the plan is redesigned to align the ministry’s activities with the government’s national development roadmap – Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD). She says it effectively and sufficiently directs and controls activities of the ministry in conformity with the PAPD.

She also notes it is aimed at strengthening awareness for community and stakeholders to address issues among girls, children, and venerable people and aligned to promote policy application on issues of gender and social protection with a focus on reducing violence against women, girls, and marginalized groups.

Tarr adds the ministry of gender has developed the country’s gender equality profile, a document that helps improve policy programs and interventions geared towards achieving gender equity. https://thenewdawnliberia.com/the-eu-election-follow-up-mission-wants-authorities-to-act-on-key-recommendations-ahead-of-the-2023-elections/Editing by Jonathan Browne

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