By: Washington Tumay

MONROVIA-Liberian women who are contemplating contesting in the upcoming 2023 general and presidential elections are now preparing to face those challenges and intimidations from their male counterparts.

The Women in Politics were alarmed over the use of the traditional devil by their male counterparts and traditional chiefs.

The women indicated that those men  who are  vying  for   political positions  believed that  the only way  they can stop potential  women  who are vying  as well  and  are poise d  to be elected by  the electorates   if  the electoral  process  is free, fair and  transparent ,is by  using   the  tradition   to prevent  them.

The women are calling on the government to provide equal protection during the electrical process,.

The Women emphasized that the government should not allow their male counterparts to use traditional power as a means of intimidating them during the political process especially those within rural Liberia.

Speaking during a one-day mediation Dialogue with Traditional  Leaders from Montserrado and Bong Counties  under  the flagship program ‘‘, the Women’s Situation Room (WSR) initiated by the Angie Brooks international  In Monrovia , Gbarpolu  County  Senator Botoe Kanneh  informed   the gathering   that  she was intimidated  by   traditional leaders  with   the country devils  when she was vying  for  the senatorial seat during  the December 8, 2020  special Senatorial Elections .

According to Senator Kenneh ,  her life was under threat by  the traditional leaders that prompted her  to run in the bushes for days   due to fear for her life  when  the traditional leaders  put out  the country devil  to go after  her and other female supporters.

She told the women that it was through the grace of God and the Women of Liberia including Human Rights Grouping that came to her rescue.

Senator Kenneh  said  the women of Liberia stood  up  and stood with  her  in seeking  for free democratic process,  free  of intimidation  that brought victory  to  the Women of Liberia  and  that of Gbarpolu County.

Senator Kenneh then encouraged women in politics and   those who are contemplating to vie for the representative and senatorial positions not to be deterred by intimidation from those of the top guys and traditional leaders.

She challenged  the women in politics  not  to wait  for elections  period  before  they can begin  working  with  their people .

Also speaking during the one day mediation dialogue the former Chief Justice of Liberia Francis Johnson –Morris   said  the action by the traditional leaders  of Gbarpolu County  to use  the customary law  against Senator Kenneh  of which  she was  in line with  the constitution  was a total violation  of  the constitution.

According to her, the   constitution supersedes  customary laws something  she said , the National Elections Commission should  have played a role  that should have prevented  those traditional leaders  from  using   the country  devil to intimidate a candidate only  because  she  is a woman.

Also, the Country Coordinator of UN Women in Liberia Comfort Lamptey called on the women to work collectively in ensuring women inclusive participation in leadership.

She committed UN Women support to the women for their efforts to increase the voices of women in national decision process especially at the national legislature.

Lamptey expressed gratitude to the Angie Brooks International Center   for organizing such a mediation Dialogue through the project: Sustainable and inclusive Peace in Liberia through promoting Women Leadership and Participation in Civic and Political Life and their Strengthened role in conflict resolution.

At the same time, the Establishment Coordinator of Angie Brooks International Center, Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh said, they are going to strengthen   the lapper revolution that will give women the opportunity to vie for political positions across the country.

She said the lapper revolution was used to support Gbarpolu County Senator Botoe Kanneh when her rights were violated by traditional leaders.

During the event the women were provided information on outstanding roles of Traditional Leaders and Chiefs in Promoting Women’s Inclusive participation and leadership at the local and national levels.

The Women also got clear understanding of their rights that include   the right to vote and be voted for, barriers and negative perceptions to women’s inclusive participation and leadership among others.


1 Comment
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