By Bridgett Milton
The newly inducted Women Legislative Caucus chairperson Senator Nyonblee Karnga – Lawrence has vowed to ensure that all incumbent female lawmakers are retained following the 2023 elections.
“They must get re-elected with the support of women and our international partners,” Karnga – Lawrence said during Caucus’ induction last week.
Speaking at the Capitol, Sen. Karnga – Lawrence said they are concluding a very aggressive retention plan that will tackle the weaknesses and challenges of incumbent female lawmakers.
She said they will also want all the women in their districts to work with them on this plan as they seek support from their international partners and local women support groups.
According to Senator Karnga – Lawrence, the more women leaders there are in the Legislature, the more assured they would be about prioritizing women and children’s issues.
Karnga – Lawrence added that they will encourage, mentor and guide all female aspirants for the representative and senatorial seats across the country.
She said they will ask their partners to assist them assess and identify all potential aspirants, after which, they will work with political parties to ensure that they are selected.
She continued that selected females will be included as candidates and this process will also include independent candidates.
The Grand Bassa Senator noted that the next on their agenda is a retreat of all international and local partners to identify the most relevant programs that will suit their processes.
She stated that they will get commitments for support and ensure that all partners and local non – governmental organizations (NGOs) supporting women’s participation in politics collaborate with the Women Legislative Caucus (WLC).
Senator Karnga – Lawrence explained that the WLC is the umbrella group to avoid duplication of functions, guarantee success, and get the involvement of all stakeholders for greater results.
For her part, the outgoing WLC chairperson Rep. Rosanna Schaack said there is so much to do in facilitating the transformation of the lives of women and girls in the country.
Schaack called on the new leadership of Senator Karnga-Lawrence to continue the oversight responsibility.
She urged the WLC leaders to review existing laws and reforms, draft new laws that promote gender equity and work with the Executive to ensure all these laws are implemented.
Liberia’s Vice President Jewel Howard – Taylor, serving as Guest Speaker, called on women groups to focus on helping other women to be elected, despite their bad habits.
She said to move forward women must first foster cooperation and undertake activities that will go to the welfare of everybody, no matter where they come from.
In proxy of House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, the chairperson of the House Committee on Education and Public Administration, Rep. Mariamu Fofana said the Speaker has committed to favoring bills relating to women’s empowerment.
Those inducted include Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, Chairperson; Senator Botoe Kanneh, Vice-Chair/National Affairs; and Rep. Moima Briggs-Mensah, Vice-Chair/International Affairs.
Also inducted were Rep. Rustonlyn Dennis, Secretary; Rep. Julie Wiah, Financial Secretary; and Rep. Ellen Attoh Wreh, Treasurer.
Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor and Rep. Rosanna Schaack will serve as advisors.