Female Aspirants Benefit From Gender Empowerment Training

…Vow To Uphold Women's Integrity In Politics

MONROVIA-Several female aspirants have benefited from a Joint Role Model Gender Empowerment Training for Women’s Political Participation ahead of the 2023 Elections.

The training was organized by Sister’s Hand-Liberia and aimed at increasing women’s participation in leadership at all echelons of the democratic process.

The One Joint Role Model Gender Empowerment Training for Women’s Political Participation and Leadership held recently is part of the Women Peace and Humanitarian Fund -funded project aimed at empowering the women of Liberia to address the physical, social, and emotional challenges brought upon them by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

It led to women political aspirants and community leaders from Montserrado, Grand Cape Mount, Lofa, and Grand Gedeh Counties to narrate their stories on the different forms of humiliations, intimidations, and disadvantages confronting them since declaring ambitions in the electoral process.

The training seeks to establish local platforms, develop policies, strengthen the capacity of women’s rights groups and social movements, and also lead to the advancement of women’s empowerment in the electoral process and promote gender equality across political institutions.

In time past, there have been increasing concerns from rights groups, international partners, media, and CSOs over the limited representation of women in the active body politics of our country noting that the majority of the women population are either seen as cooks, caterers, and caretakers during political rallies and events that are preventing their partaking into decision-making.

Women continue to face challenges across the country due to the alleged failure of the government to identify and implement strategies to knock down the numbers of women and men in national governance and decision-making which traditional and cultural norms have greatly affected gender equality in all aspects of the country.

It is said that the current Liberian Legislature constitutes a total of seventy-three (73) representatives and thirty (30) Senators among whom are nine females in the House of Representatives and two females in the Senate which constitutes 13.5% of legislators in the 54th National Legislature.

Speaking during the during on behave of Sister’s Hand Liberia and the Lead Focus Person for the Women Peace and Humanitarian Fund under UN Women Liberia,

Program Director Alpha Kamara said the training was reached following a comprehensive survey done by Sister’s Hand Liberia and the Center for Peace and Security Studies.

Director Kamara furthered that the survey identified that women face several obstacles to participating in politics including structural barriers, discriminatory laws, and the continued practice of political institutions to limit women’s options to run for office among others.

Alpha Kamara disclosed that there exists a huge capacity gap among females as compared to male counterparts in access to education and resources needed to become effective leaders adding that the situation has compelled most women to abandon their ambitions.

“It is important to consider that the 2011 UN General Assembly resolution on women’s political participation informed the world that women in every part of the world continue to be largely marginalized from the political sphere, often as a result of discriminatory laws, practices, attitudes, and gender stereotypes, low levels of education, lack of access to health care and the disproportionate effect of poverty on women”. Director Kamara asserted.

He then noted that the situation has become extremely challenging, especially for female aspirants in Liberia stating that women are underrepresented in leading positions both elected, civil service, and the private sector despite failing to consider their unmatched and proven abilities as leaders and change-makers.

The Sister’s Hand Liberia Program Director abolished participants to return to their various constituencies to establish local platforms, develop policies, and strengthen the capacity of women’s rights groups and social movements as well as encouraged to promote gender equality across their various terrains.

Participants lauded the efforts of Sister’s Hand Liberia and UN Women for the initiative.

For her part, Montserrado County former Senatorial candidate Evangeline Israel King (Ann Genie) said the downward trend in women’s political representation is attributed to the numerous obstacles and barriers brought upon them by their male counterparts, and the need to challenge those barriers cannot be overstated.

She added that the training has also empowered her to develop new ideas to address future stereotypes, especially during the campaign era.

She, therefore petitioned Sister’s Hand and UN Women to expand the initiative to more women community leaders.

Meanwhile, Madam Evangeline Israel King (Ann Genie) is optimistic about contesting in the ensuing elections scheduled for October this year.

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