LIBERIA: Liberian Women Launch Coalition

Thursday, October 14, 2010
Western Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Peace Processes

In an effort to build a new Liberia to complement Government's development program, the women of Liberia yesterday launched a civil society movement under one canopy known as the Coalition of Civil Society Women of Liberia (COCISWOL).

The launching program which brought together hundreds of Liberian women was held in Sinkor between 11 and 12 Streets at the auditorium of the Bible Society of Liberia.

According to the President of COCISWOL, Madam Roselyn Priscilla Perkins, the objective of the organization among other activities is to coordinate the affairs of all civil society women's organizations of Liberia and to contribute to the peaceful coexistence of Liberians.

She said the women's organization is to also encourage and promote mutual interrelationship amongst civil society women's organizations in Liberia and will establish branches in all fifteen counties as a means of decentralizing all its activities and increasing capacity and commitment to ensure that all national, international laws coupled with regional conventions on women's rights are ratified and implemented; particularly those relating to violence against women and girls including political participation, peace and security and economic empowerment.

"Our goal is to ensure the existence of an active and sustainable women civil society movement and effective national local platforms for knowledge-based," Mrs. Perkins maintained.

For her part, the guest speaker at the launching program, former Sinoe County Senator Myrtle Gibson said among other things that Liberian Women suffered immensely during the civil conflict, when Liberians fought, killed and maimed one another during which time Liberian women were most victimized.

She said the suffering of the Liberian women took many forms, especially when mothers could not find an antibiotic to save the lives of their children, when raw potatoes greens were used as substitute for vitamins (iron) for pregnant and lactating mothers, when leaves were used as blankets.

Speaking further, Madam Gibson said Liberian Women are peculiar in many ways. She said no matter what the situation they have been an example of great strength and that the launching of the Coalition of Civil Society Women of Liberia organized under one umbrella whose effort is to build a new Liberia, complementing Government's development programs to help Liberia achieve social transformation.

"The formation of the coalition also allows all women to reach their potential, so they can fully and effectively contribute to Liberia's development, growth and sustainable peace. Women are more than 50% of Liberia's population. Women are presently only 10% in the Legislature have such unequal representation is not in favor of women," the guest speaker averred.

Several prominent Liberia women including Mary Brownell, former Education Minister Dr. Evelyn Kandakai, among others were present at the launch of the coalition. Also gracing the occasion was Maryland County Senator, Bhofal Chambers.