The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Julia Duncan-Cassell, has called on Liberian women to join political parties and compete for key positions. She said when women occupy key positions in political parties, they will bring women issues to the table and help to sustain the debate.
The Minister said women should not be content with heading women wing in the political parties, but should strive for higher positions, noting that in all of the 22 or more political parties in Liberia, no woman is at the top of leadership.
Speaking on Tuesday, 6 December at the launch of the Liberian Women’s Manifesto 2017, the Gender Minister said the National Elections Commission will be held accountable if political parties here don’t meet up with the 30 percent women’s participation as enshrined in the law.
In 2005 women came together and developed the Liberian Women’s Manifesto, a document that identifies and makes policy recommendations on issues important to women and their families.
The goal is to empower more women in the economy, but first they need more girls to finish school and move on to university and higher level vocational training without falling prey to sex for grades and teen pregnancy, among other family issues which often cause them to drop out of school.
Madam Duncan-Cassell noted that adult women, who do not vomplete school, often continue to face disadvantages economically throughout their lives.
Also speaking at the program, Untied States Ambassador to Liberia, Christine Elder said, Liberia being the first country in Africa to elect a female as President is a blessing, not a curse.
Ambassador Elder noted that report from USAID last year show that few women voted in past elections, and few women are active in political activities, warning that if that were the case, women issue will continue to remain in the back.