Local NGO, NIPO Intensifies Debate For Women Political Participation In Liberia

By Edwin G. Genoway

A local pro-democracy and women rights advocacy group working in Southeastern Liberia, National Institute for Public Opinion (NIPO), has raised alarm on the issue low turnout of women participating in politics in Liberia.

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NIPO called for the increase in the number of women in various counties of the Liberia’s male dominated politics.

The Executive Director of NIPO, Madam Roseline Thomas Richards encouraged women to take the stance in politics to compete with their male counterpart.

Madam Thomas noted that as in other parts of Liberia, women’s political participation in the southeast remains a critical challenge due to a number of realities.

She added that the most prevalent among these challenges are cultural persuasions, inadequate power relations, limited or low economic might of women and girls coupled with a male dominant political culture which continues to suppress, marginalize and discriminate against women and girls.

“We are committed to working closely with the community leaders, local government officials, political authorities of the county and traditional leaders in making sure that their voices are heard and that the years of discrimination and marginalization of women and girls will end,” she noted.

She said NIPO has acknowledges that the Liberian society is heavily dominated by men, something that is have not been fair and balanced in the treatment of and women.

She alleges that men have been the chief agents undermining the participation of women and girls in politics and decision-making, and she expressed regrets for said mistreatment of the female population.

Madam Thomas however promised that NIPO will work alongside the Women Platform in making sure that other men are encouraged to stand up for the promotion and protection of the rights of women and girls who want to persue politics, leadership and decision making in the county.

She spoke at the conclusion of a one day dialogue on women’s political participation in Sinoe County.

The dialogue, which received funding support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands through Oxfam, was held on Friday, January 25, 2019 in the Greenville City Hall.

The dialogue brought together 42 participants – six males and 42 females.

The discussions was aim at deepening debates around the participation of women in politics and decision making positions within the county as resoundingly articulated in goal five of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which promptly advocates for gender equality and women empowerment (GEWE) globally.

The dialogue was conducted under three objectives; namely, increase the knowledge and understanding of women and girls on power and politics, with the view of increasing their voices across the county, to identify critical challenges and issues impeding women’s political participation and to strengthen and/or improve the capacity of women and girls and animate them into taking practical actions that are supportive of increasing their voices in the politics and leadership of the county.

 Activities during the dialogue included lecture sessions, small group discussions, role plays and open interactive discussions between the male and female participants.

Beneficiaries of the dialogue included female politicians, women in local Government, community women and members of the Sinoe County Women Platform.

In the aftermath of the dialogue, women participants strongly committed themselves to strengthening the Women Platform of the county and to use it as a medium in standing up for their rights.

Source: allafrica.com

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