In the upcoming legislative and presidential elections in 2023, consideration of gender dynamics will play a significant role as a deciding factor. Over the course of recent years, it has become more and more apparent that the question of gender plays a crucial part in the political system of Liberia.
Since the election of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the first female president of the Republic of Liberia, Liberian women have positioned themselves as key political actors. Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President of the Republic of Liberia in 2005 and was reelected in 2011. She led the country for twelve (12) years. Women have made it clear that they want equal representation and to be included in the process of making decisions at all levels.
In 2017, it became clear that the Weah and Jewel ticket was the one that voters found to be the most appealing and electable. In Liberia, the practice of electing males and females to the positions of president and vice president is gradually becoming the country’s standard practice.
However, we are requesting from the National Legislature that only a male and a female can run for president and vice president on a ticket as a way for widening the fight for gender parity. The affirmative action legislation should not only mandate 30% female political representation, but also make sure that each presidential ticket is gender-sensitive by matching a man with a woman.
This why we are happy about the information that the former Vice President of Liberia and standard bearer of the former ruling unity party, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, finally settled on the decision of a running mate. Aside from being public knowledge, sources close to the Unity Party (UP) have told the Womenvoices that Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence is the hinted choice for running mate to the Unity Party’s (UP) former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai.
We are encouraging Mr. Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe of the Liberia People’s Party (LPP), and others to consider a female for their running mates or vice presidents.
We too ascribed to the school of thought among political commentators that any candidate who is serious about winning the favor and support of people must select a female running partner or run the risk of being branded an anti-feminist.
We hailed this new development as a significant victory in that fight, while we anticipate that Cummings and other politicians, like other political leaders in UP and CDC, will feel obligated to follow the positive precedents set by those political leaders and select a woman to serve as their running mate.
We also ask that voters keep an eye for presidential tickets that reflect gender balance by pairing males and females as running mates. Specifically, for tickets that match males and females together. By this means, the fight of gender equity will be taken to another level.