By Lincoln G. Peters
Two prominent Liberian women namely Bong County Superintendent Madam Esther Walker and the Establishment Coordinator of the Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh have cautioned women in Bong County to take seize of the leadership and peace of Liberia in order to change the narrative.
In separate remarks, Madam Walker and Cllr. Chesson – Wureh stated here that the peace of Liberia is in the hands of women, therefore, they should take advantage of the peace and leadership of the country to be visible at the place of influence, trust and decision-making.
On Thursday 24 March 2022, ABIC with support from the United Nations Peace – Building and ZOAC brought together hundreds of women in Bong County in celebration of “Post International Women Day” (IWD) observed under the local theme “Liberian Women Must Be Visible at the Table.”
The program brought together women from ten towns in Gbanga, Bong County including, Belefanai, Gbarnga Community, Suakoko, Wainsue, Palala, Gbartala, Folobia, Cuttington, Salala, and Totota Community, respectively.
The program started with a grand parade from the J. F. Clark Elementary School football field on Kokoyah Road, through Gbarnga Broad Street, and moved to the principal street of Gbarnga. It climaxed at the Gbarnga Administrative building with a one-day symposium.
Participants at the one-day symposium renewed the call for women to be given the space to serve in positions of influence and highlighted a couple of barriers.
Additionally, the women craved jobs, training and empowerment to be able to support their children and cater to the livelihood of their respective families.
They further urged their colleagues to enhance their meaningful participation in national advocacy for women and children across the country.
A discussion from the women outlined challenges, including fear, tradition, lack of love and support for each other, lack of resources, limited education, and threats from their spouses as reasons for which they are not at the table of trust, influence and decision – making.
The grass root women also highlighted the negative impact of illicit drugs among the youths and called for swift action to save the younger generation.
Motivating her fellow women, Bong County Superintendent Ester Walker said that women have to fight for their rights and dignity in the 2023 presidential and general elections to curtail lots of disadvantages against them.
According to her, 2023 is around the corner, cautioning that women should go to the election with peace and make sure they elect their own for their voices to be heard and given attention instead of voting for rice and other material things.
“This country is ours. Let us not be afraid because we can change the narrative. Stand up and make this country better,” Madam Walker said.
“You know book or not, you have a part to play and even uneducated women have common sense that can help us. The men are our counterparts and therefore, do not be afraid of them,” Madam Walker added.
For her part, ABIC Establishment Coordinator Cllr. Cheeson-Wureh said women should muster the courage to make sure they are visible at the table, saying the peace of Liberia is in their hands.
She called on all grass root women to learn from their superintendent and make sure that they do away with fear and other negative vices that have the potential to stop them from achieving their goals and keep Liberia safe.
“Participate in all democratic processes and make sure that your voice is heard. Participate in politics because it decides your future, education, healthcare and everything you can imagine and think about,” she noted.
She lamented that how the government spends money, the school children go to and the hospital that cares for pregnant women are all decided by the government, therefore, politics is everyone’s business.
The symposium, according to the Establishment Coordinator of ABIC was necessary to brainstorm and encourage Liberian women and girls to break barriers and step forward and forge ahead to pursue the objective of women’s emancipation.
Madam Chesson-Wureh said the time is now for women to do away with phobia and threats from their male counterparts.
She urged them to take on the challenge to be visible to positions of trust and influence, adding that it’s only by that women’s plight will be addressed and voices heard.