By Krauh Thompson
The deal to upholding women’s political participation and leadership in the 2023 presidential and General elections remains elusive and daunting, as the Woman Legislative Caucus of Liberia launches a two-day workshop for women aspirants to solicit support and mobilize more women to occupy the 30 percent space allotted to them at the Legislature.
The women taught fund-raising and campaign strategies and impact of legal framework on electoral process, among others.
The women seem curiously optimistic about their participation even when their representation in the legislature is currently counted among the lowest in the region.
UN Women Country Representative and Resident Coordinator, Comfort Lamptey, has promised to support women entering politics if they show readiness to take up the legislature by storm come 2023.
Speaking at the launch of the two days workshop held in Monrovia on Thursday, December 1, Madam Lamptey said the country needs more women’s participation while acknowledging effort and vision of the women’s legislative caucus in organizing a forum that seeks to overcome a system that has deprived them the right to participate in political activity.
She congratulated the National Elections Commission of Liberia for amending the elections law, thereby strengthening Section 4.5 on the nomination of candidates.
She also lauded the Ministry of Gender, Children and Protection for effort made to enact the bill, legalizing a mandatory thirty percent gender quota in the Legislature for women.
Ms. Lamptey skipped maneuvering and looks forward to seen the law active and enforced with more progress set for the future. She applauds political parties that have instituted and included 40 percent women on their candidates’ list.
“I look forward to seeing a Legislature that looks different in terms of its profile; I’m calling on the Government of Liberia and civil society groupings in the country to prevent conflict and to sustain the peace that the country is enjoying.” She pleads.
She says these are particular concerns of UN Women in investing efforts to support prevention of violence that targets women in politics, adding that they are making every effort to ensure the environment is safe from violence against women.
Liberia’s Minister of Gender, Children and Protection, Williametta E. Saydee-Tarr, believes that this is the time for women to say enough is enough, urging them to take up space and reduce male dominance in government.
“it is the time to take up the space so that not only men can be in positions of power in the country, but we want to see women in the political space”, Minister Saydee-Tarr emphasizes.
In remark, UNDP Resident Representative, Steven Rodriguez, said violence targeting women during elections is a democratic crisis and that there’s a need for women to create a space to end this type of discrimination against them.
Describing the gathering as a powerful one, Amb. Rodriguez promises UN support to strengthen women in meeting the 30 percent quota allotted to them.
Meanwhile, the two days program was graced by prominent women leaders in the country, who promised to fight violence against women in politics.
The forum was attended by Gender Minister Saydee-Tarr, Grand Bassa county Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence, Bong County District 6 Representative Moima Briggs Mensah, Montsoraado county district 4 Representative Rustonlyn Suacoco Dennis, Montserrado County District#6 and former Representative from the 52nd Legislature, Cllr. Kuku Y. Dorbor, among others. Editing by Jonathan Browne