A program to promote meaningful participation of women in politics was launched on 28 December. The program will train and coach 200 women drawn from all 15 counties on effective political participation.
The training kicks off on January 3 and will run until January 5, 2022. It aims to boost women's confidence and their activism in order to increase their chances of successfully running for elective positions.
Women in Liberia are grossly under-represented in politics. Four of the country’s 19 ministers are women, two of the country’s 30 senators are women, and nine of the 73 representatives are women.
“Women are woefully underrepresented in politics. We must change this by proactively participating in politics either as candidates or voters,” said Rivercess County Representative, Hon. Rosana Schaack during the program launch. “The time for us has arrived. When we participate, we vote, we win.”
The program is implemented by Liberia’s Working Group on Women, Youth, Peace and Security (WGWYPS) with funding from the UN Office in West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), and is facilitated by UNDP Liberia. Other partner organizations are FAWE, FIJAL, IYED, SEARCH, Sisters Hand, WONGOSOL, and Young Peace Ambassadors.
Speaking during the program launch, Liberia’s Representative to the Working Group, Meima Sirleaf Karneh, said the Working Group is an organization of civil society groups under the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Representative to West Africa that actively engages Ministries of Gender and national parliaments in the region. The Working Group is active in 16 counties in the ECOWAS region.
Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Alice Johnson Howard urged young women to come to the fore and take advantage of initiatives aimed at empowering women to get involved in politics because they hold the future.
“As part of the inclusive governance envisioned under the sustainable development goals, the UN is committed to supporting initiatives that help bring women at all levels of governance and development. We need the voices and contributions of women to achieve the SDGs Agenda 2030,” said UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative Thabani Mabodoko.
UNOWAS, the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, is a political mission managed by the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), which assists regional institutions and member states to enhance their capacities to promote good governance and respect for the rule of law, human rights, and the mainstreaming of gender in conflict prevention. Learn more about UNOWAS at unowas.unmissions.org