LIBERIA: 'Another Female President in 2017' Mother Mary Brownell Suggests

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Daily Observer
Western Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

As Liberian women continue to enjoy the country's political honeycomb (sweetness), with a substantial representation in the three branches of the government, their quest for high posts in future regimes stimulates ceaselessly.

What appears to be a careful search for a female personality, who may be groom to ‘take over' from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is underway amongst Liberian women.

The multi-million dollar question remains: “Who supports who to become what at what time and where? Though the ultimate goal is clear – women must take the lead equally with men.” However, that is a challenge for unity in the female community.

It is of course unknown whether or not, a possible female successor of the Madam Sirleaf in 2017, will also be tagged “Iron lady of Africa” as the President was, due to her political vigor amongst several Liberia men in the political space.

Notwithstanding, females have become more competitive with their male counterparts in terms of a massive involvement in the decision-making process of the country; especially because of the inspirations they continue to get not only from Pres. Sirleaf, but also from other distinguished women both locally and internationally.

Their fervent for leadership in the ‘higher height' of Liberia, ye the world, and their gravity to democratically ‘do all it takes' to remain at the peak of political positions, mainly the presidency, is unbending as informed by some public speeches made by them.

It is seemingly the case that most male politicians in the country are not too happy about the strict political moves their wives, daughters, nieces, aunties, or mothers have embarked on.

Even though, they (men) do not publicly admit to the fact it displeases them, because their views may be ‘condemned' and regarded as ‘men who do not support gender equity in a political level playing field'.

Perhaps, this is the reason why the gender parity bill at the National Legislature still lingers.

Interestingly, one of Liberia's foremost educators, Mother Mary N. Brownell has challenged Liberian women to begin grooming a lady to replace Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as president in the 2017 poll.

Pres. Sirleaf, as indicated in the Liberian Constitution, is not eligible to contest in the October 2017 general and presidential elections as she ends her second term of office.

Madam Brownell said, “for over 150 years, Liberian men had dominated Liberia's political mainstream including the presidency; it is now time that women begin to exert themselves more, to enter the leadership loop of the country at the highest level.”

This, she stated, is possible, if women hold together.

Madam Brownell, who is the founder of the Liberia Women Initiative (LWI) in 1994, during heat of the Liberian civil war, made the suggestion Tuesday morning when she spoke on a wide range of issues on a local radio talk-show in Monrovia.

She, however, lauded the “leadership role Liberian women continue to play, especially since the coming to power of Pres. Sirleaf in January 2006.”

The educator made specific reference to the election of Madam Elizabeth Hoff, first the female president of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), as an event that preceded Pres. Sirleaf's victory in 2005.

Correspondingly, Mother Brownell challenged young women and girls in the country to remain unwavering, despite the hitches they experience; there must always be a hope for triumph -- that they would play major leadership roles as well as contribute to the renewal process of their country.”