The Executive Director of the West Point Women for Health and Development Organization (WPDHDO), Madam Nelly Cooper encourages women to participate in both governance and private sector of the country.
Speaking at the climax of two days transformative leadership workshop held in the township, Madam Cooper said women are decision makers and there’s no need they should be afraid or intimidated by their male counterparts.
The workshop brought together participants from various communities, including Coconut Plantation, Newport Street, Front Street, Michelin Street and WestPoint Township, respectively.
Mrs. Cooper said women should stand strong in order to have their voices heard on both political and social issues. “Women are also decision makers, do not be afraid to speak whenever the opportunity is given to you, you must at all times be prepared to make a decision that will be in the interest of all,” she further stated.
Liberian women have been disproportionately challenged. High rate of sexual and gender-based violence are well documented, especially during Liberia’s 14 years of civil war; only one in three Liberian women are literate; and women are often more significantly impacted by poverty and hunger, compared to men. Placing women in decision-making positions is instrumental to addressing these issues; however, women face significant obstacles in attaining leadership positions.
Although Liberia’s 2005 democratic transition saw the election of Africa’s first woman head of state, Liberian women continue to face considerable challenges to their participation in political processes.
In 2015, USAID’s Liberia Electoral Access and Participation (LEAP) survey found that nearly 10 percent fewer women were registered to vote than men, 14 percent fewer women voted in the 2014 Senatorial elections and 17 percent fewer women engaged in campaign activities. Indications of data from the 2017 elections indicate the gap is closing as more women are participating in elections as voters, however, they still remain underrepresented in leadership and decision-making roles, even after the 2017 election.
The Visionary Young Women in Leadership (VYWL) team conducted research to understand why women are underrepresented and to uncover new ways to encourage more of their peers to become more active in their communities, especially in leadership and decision-making positions. Press Release