By Lincoln G. Peters
The Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) Establishment Coordinator Cllr. Yvette Chesson – Wureh has urged women to ensure that they maintain the peace of this country ahead of the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
She made the call this week when ABIC held a one-day mediation dialogue in partnership with ZOA-Liberia with funding from the UN Peacebuilding Fund under the flagship program of the Women Situation Room (WSR).
ABIC is an organization for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security.
The one-day mediation dialogue was focused on the safety and security of women before, during and after the 2023 elections.
The mediation dialogue is under the project titled Sustainable and Inclusive Peace in Liberia through Promoting Women Leadership and Participation in Civic and Political Life and their Strengthened Role in Conflict Resolution.
The program brought together several political parties’ women, including chair ladies, and women wing.
Held in the Cecil Dennis Auditorium, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the program was also attended by women who contested elections before, and those who are aspiring for the upcoming presidential and legislative elections.
Women leaders, chair ladies and youth from twenty communities in Bong and Montserrado counties were part of the engagement.
The Alternative National Congress, (ANC), Unity Party (UP), Liberty Party (LP) Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Liberian People’s Party (LPP) and the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) were represented.
Also represented were the Liberia Restoration Party (LRP), People’s Liberation Party (PLP), and Vision for Liberia Transformation Party (VOLT) among others.
During the dialogue, participants highlighted their experiences of violence during past elections.
Cllr. Chesson-Wureh climaxed the one-day engagement on “what are the mechanisms for reporting, monitoring and responding to violence under the law.”
“If I am the overseer, this is the church of the revolution. This is where we the women will take over our country and ensure that there is no electoral violence,” said Cllr. Chesson – Wureh.
“The women in the political parties will stand as candidates on equal footing with the men. From today, you will not be cooking, and you will not be wing but the body and the head of your political parties,” she added.
According to her, women are going to take their rightful place at each political party and they will be viable at the table of decision-making.
She noted that women are targeted during elections more than their male counterparts and they are targeted for death.
“Do I need to tell you about Botoe Kanneh and Ms. Telia Urey’s case? Their lives were hunted and in danger as if they were wrong to participate in the elections,” Cllr. Chesson – Wureh explained.
“Collins Kruah the same thing. How many men candidates [have you] heard such things happening … during elections. They are afraid because you will do a better job than they will do.”
The Deputy Commissioner General for Naturalization, Liberia Immigration Service Atty. Asatu Bah Kenneh provided insight to the women on promoting the security and safety of women in elections, and understanding the role of security agencies.
For her part, Journalist Eva Flomo drilled the participants on how political parties respond to violence against women in election-perspective of the women leaders in political parties.