LIBERIA: Women NGO's Secretariat of Liberians Want More Women in Key Leadership Positions

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Western Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security

Political parties in Liberia have been asked to ensure that at least 40 per cent of all elected positions at the district, regional and national levels are occupied by women.

The electorates have also been advised to vote for women to occupy political positions instead of always giving preference to men.

The Executive director of Women NGOs Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL), made the call at the start of a three-day workshop in Gbarnga themed "Reinforcing Women's leadership in key positions in 2014 and 2017"

The workshop focuses on women leadership, campaign strategies, encounter with the media electoral process and building women self-confidence while serving as decision-maker in a democratic process.

Speare said women have the ability to transform the country when given power. "Women have skills to transform the country". Men should not always be preferred than women," she said.

She said the workshop also helps to strengthen past and present legislative candidates. "Defeated and current, legislative candidates are among us today and even those seeking to contest in the 2014 midterm election. This workshop will help identify hurdles that confront women during election and how they can do away with its challenges," she said.

Defeated women candidates share experiences

Madam Martha Flanjay Karngar, a women advocate and defeated legislative candidate in the 2011 senatorial election in Grand Bassa said she didn't feel her gender could scupper her political career.

"My women friends were the main people to canvass against me. Because I was from a different back ground some sought to go the other way," she said.

Madam Karnga, who is the Executive Director of the Grand Bassa Women Association, said her entry into politics was the result of the male dominance experienced that prevailed in the county prior to the election of Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence.

She said, "Regrettably, financial constraints, deceit from electorates and political party all played their part in my failure," she said.

Another defeated legislative candidate of District #13 in Monsterrado County, Louise Haba, told FrontPageAfrica that though women in her district expressed delight at her participation but snubbed her bid due to her lack of finance and party affiliation.

She said the challenges experienced as a female candidate have only served as a motivation for her political life. "I will contest come 2017 as a Representative candidate. I have begun revisiting my constituency to ascertain their plights," she added.