LIBERIA: Amb. Greenfield Dismisses Women's 30 Percent Legislative Seats Demand

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Western Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield says that a women-sponsored legislation calling for the enactment into law the reservation of 30% legislative and political positions for women is unnecessary.

"...Women don't need to legislate 30%. They need to get women out to vote and they will get 50, 60, 70 percent. They do not need to legislate their percentage. If women can get out and vote, I think we are going to see more then 30%," Ambassador Thomas Greenfield told a local radio station.

She rejected the much perceived notion that 'women are marginalized,' stressing instead that "...You can only be marginalized if you allow yourself to be marginalized. Women should go out and vote for good women politicians who respond to their constituents. Liberian women are powerful."

Women groups have been battling to enact laws that seek to preserve 30% of all legislative and political posts exclusively for women. After losing a major battle last March in the senate for the passage of a legislation seeking gender equity in political posts, they vowed never to relent.

Under the auspices of Women Legislative Caucus of Liberia and the Coalition of Political Parties Women in Liberia, the women embarked on an intensive two-day discussion aimed at sensitizing men on the importance of increasing female representation in body politics.