- As ABIC hosts a dialogue and networking session with women in politics,
Writing as Leila B. Gbati
Women in Liberia have been encouraged to uphold the peace and assume leadership roles in the country’s many political parties.
The request was made on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, by the Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) at a one-day discussion and networking event with women in politics as part of the Women Situation Room (WSR) Agenda 2023 hosted at the Cecil Dennis Auditorium, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The project that this conversation falls under is called “Sustainable and inclusive peace in Liberia through promoting women’s leadership and participation in civic and political life and their strengthened role in conflict resolution.”
The event, however, brought together women from diverse political parties, as well as community leaders, leaders in civil society groups, and young leaders. It was designed to allow for the sharing of ideas, challenges, and solutions for reducing violence as well as how to become leaders.
The despondency of their male counterparts, who think they are illiterate and incapable of achieving, is one of the main obstacles the women claim they encounter in their varied political situations and inhibits them from obtaining leadership roles.
The women also stated that money was a barrier to their political participation, and as a result of the meager financial support they received from the males, other women turned away from them and supported the men.
The women of Liberia made use of the occasion to urge other women, particularly those who work for women’s NGOs there, to organize a team that will travel to every district and inspire women to be bold and assume leadership roles in their organizations while also assisting in the reduction of violence.
In contrast, the ABIC Establishment Coordinator, Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh, commended the women for showing us in her final remarks, underlining that often the majority of results come from simply turning up.
The session’s goal, according to Cllr. Wureh, was for the women to learn from one another.
She also said that “it is your common sense,” telling the women that contributions can come from things other than degrees and PhDs. You cannot participate if you are unable to read and write. I’ll tell you right now that some people with the smartest minds are illiterate.
Because when you go to a party you are unable to speak, the guys will talk endlessly and, believe me, they will intimidate you because they believe they are all-knowing. We are the ones bearing the children and laying the foundation for this country, so use your common sense, she said.
The ABIC Establishment Coordinator continued by urging the political women to understand who they are and emphasize that they are Liberia’s shoulders and the ones who will make a difference.
According to Cllr. Wureh, there is nothing that men don’t know that women don’t know. As a result, women ought to participate in all political party decision-making processes because that is why they joined the party in the first place.
She asked the political women to occupy their rightful positions in political parties and carry out their duties for the benefit of Liberia.
She also advised the women to enlist the aid of other women because leaders cannot function without followers.
In addition to teaching youngsters, Cllr. Wureh pointed out that the WSR also trains women as observers, particularly the women they collaborate with in civil society organizations. These women will receive training at the level of the United Nations, and they will be the ones to report violent acts.
In closing, Cllr. Wureh warned the mothers against allowing their kids to be used as weapons, stressing that kids aren’t like dogs and that instead, politicians should utilize their kids and let them die.
Hon. Olubanke King-Akerele, chair of ABIC’s board of directors, urged the ladies to band together and tackle the myriad problems facing the country.
According to Hon. Akerele, political parties are where the fight to stop violence really begins.
She emphasized that violence might not occur if political parties do not support it, regardless of the motivation.
“Violence begins within the political party; therefore, as women, speak up and warn them that we must not behave in this way. You, as women in your political party, have that obligation, she says.