A local group, South Eastern Women Development Association or SEWODA, ends a day-long capacity building for women involved in advocacy and networking in Harper City, Maryland County, southeast Liberia.
Speaking to this paper in Harper, County Coordinator Mara Suku says the training was meant to increase women’s participation in advocacy, decision-making and peace-building by networking.
The women drawn from over 10 communities in Harper District learnt how to advocate, when to advocate, what to advocate for, among other topics. Madam Suku says participants are expected to return to their respective communities and embark on massive awareness to educate their colleagues to stand up in advocating for themselves so they would be on par with their male counterparts.
“I expect that participants will establish a cordial working relationship with their respective communities by educating others on what was taught during the training”, she adds.
Madam Elizabeth Toe, chairlady of Bishop Hill community Zone Four lauds SEWODA for the training, noting that it has broaden her mind on how to advocate for herself in society.
She calls on SEWODA to continue such training exercises, adding that the knowledge would enable them rub shoulders with their male counterparts. “I am very happy for the level of understanding I got in advocacy, networking, and organizational structure”, she says.
Meanwhile, several women who spoke to this paper in Harper after the workshop Friday, June 15, say for so long they have been referred to as backbenchers, while men have been seen as the only people that belong to the front.
The women said the training has strengthened them, vowing never to be in the back of every initiative that will lead to decision-making, including politics. A resident of Jacksonville, Alice Kidio says she is of a strong conviction that if such workshop continued across Maryland, every district in the county would produce a female, who will serve as a representative or senator to work in the interest of people of the county.
By George K. Momo/ Maryland-Editing by Jonathan Browne