Activist Encourages Women To For Elective Posts

By Simeon S. Wiakanty

For future elections, one of which is expected to be held in October this year, the Executive Director of Paramount Young Women Initiative, Facia B. Harris, is encouraging young women of Liberia to make use of every opportunity available to them to pursue political seats at the National Legislature.

Madam Harris, like other feminists, believes that with males dominate key decision-making areas in government, women are being marginalized in the Liberian Government. Therefore, she believes, the dynamic must change; even though a female President led Liberia for 12 years under whose regime saw a great number of women in ministerial and other high-level positions.

 Unlike the Executive Branch, where cabinet-level appointees serve at the will and pleasure of the President, the Legislature is occupied by elected officials whom voters choose based on values and interest they see in a person, and the Liberian Constitution has no provision giving any gender an exclusive preference for any elective position.

Serving as a motivational speaker at the re-launch of the National Young Women Political Council of Liberia Advocacy Campaign, Ms Harris said women should stand up to the challenge because Liberia needs leadership to make a significant impact on society. “All of you, the young women in here today, should not consider yourselves as emerging young leaders but already a leader,” she said.

Business people talking in meeting

The program attended by over 25 young women ambitious of political positions under the theme, “The Legislature is not for Men Alone”.

She encouraged the young women to rise and take advantage of the 2020 senatorial elections to change the statistics of women in elected positions.

During the 53rd Legislature, there were six women among 67 men in the House of Representatives; while the Senate had four women among 30 male Senators. Joyce Musu Freeman Sumo was booted out in the 2014 special senatorial election with popular votes in favour of CDC political leader George Weah, now President of Liberia. Clarice Jah was also booted out in 2014, while in 2017, Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor ascended to the rank of President of the Senate and Vice President of the Republic of Liberia. In 2019, popular female politician Geraldine Doe-Sheriff, who would have sought re-election in the upcoming contest, met her demise last year.

In the Senate’s 54th legislative sitting, only Grand Bassa County Nyonblee Kangar Lawrence is there with the presence of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor (President of the Senate) who appears very frustrated over governance issues. The House of Representatives, on the other hand, is currently occupied by 10 women among 63 men.

Source: Daily Observer

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