PAYOWI Stresses Need for ‘Transformative Leadership’ for Sustainable Development

-200 women, girls poised to get training in transformative leadership in Montserrado and Margibi Counties

The Paramount Young Women Initiative (PAYOWI) has stressed the need for women to work together to achieve transformative leadership in order realize sustainable development in Liberia.

Hawa C. Wilson, program officer of the Paramount Young Women Initiative made the assertion recently during one-day training of 50 women and girls in Marshall and Duazon,  Margibi County held on Thursday October 8, 2020.

She said the project focuses on the strategic development of women and girls leadership skills. Ms. Wilson said Liberia has recently engaged in adopting transformative leadership because it challenges those odds that have been built over the years and bring positive change.

“It talks about fighting for social justice for women and girls as well as others in society. From the feminist landscape, it talks more about inclusiveness and consciousness, therefore, as a transformative leader, you need to consider everyone,” Ms. Wilson said.

The training under the theme: “Enough! Positive Action to End Sexual Gender Based Violence in Liberia” with support from OXFAM focuses on women and girls intensifying their knowledge and scope of idea on women’s participation at all levels.

She indicated that discussions of transformative leadership from the community level will enable women in their various homes to grown their children, stating “in order to transform Liberia, we will have to start in our home and community.”

Ms. Wilson said the Liberian society along with a traditional style of leadership over the years has created a space for women and girls to be voiceless and always at the back in decision-making and society in general.

“Traditional leadership in Liberia calls for men to hold top positions, while women are given low positions, therefore, changing the narratives will allow us to realize sustainable development. Women have skillsand abilities to holdtop positions in community leadership, organizations and the larger society,” she told participants.

According to Ms. Wilson, the issue of gender which has to do with role and responsibilities assigned to men and women or boys and girlsby society continues to negatively hamper Liberia development because men are always given the space for positions and decisions at all levels.

“We should allow our boys children to be good husbands by allowing them to cook, wash dishes or clothes, sweep yard and anything that the girls’ children can do in the home and also the girls’ children doing what the boys can do in the home. By this, we will build a society where the man and woman can equally take care of the home and not leaving the man with the responsibilities to provide everything for the home,” Ms. Wilson told participants.

Ms. Wilson said husband and wife in the developed world today do everything equally, including preparing of food for the home, going to the market, taking clothes to the laundry and paying bills for the running of the home contrary to happenings in Liberia.

“The women are more than men, therefore, we need to also start vying for top positions at the community leadership level and other organizations within the community. Usually, political parties give treasurer position to women, which shows that women are very good managers but we need to complete for top positions in order to make decisions about the change we want for Liberia,” Ms. Wilson said.

Ms. Wilson said the project will also focus on school girls, especially ensuring that girls have the skills to serve at various levels in their school and community.

She said most time they get shy away because of structural and systematic traditional norms that say women cannot serve certain levels when their counterparts are qualified or participating.

Diana D. Jarka, one of the participant said she was elated to participate in a transformative leadership and promised to support women wanting to hold or form part of leadership at any levels.

“As women, are not urged to fully participate and not to only support men to make decision for us. We understand that women are mostly interested in fighting for the interests of fellow women and children when given leadership space,” she said.

Mrs. Jarka promised to work with women in her community in order to take leadership within the community and organizations within the community.

Mrs. Jarka calls on national government and partners to continue to support local organizations, stating “they make more impact on us both educated and uneducated.”

Watta V. Massaquoi, a participant from Duazon community said the training on transformative leadership will help women and girls in the transformation of Liberia for the good of society.

“I have participated in many trainings but this seems to be eyes opening for in terms of decision-making. We have learnt the attributes of traditional leadership and we believe that transformative leadership is the best for us,” Ms. Massaquoi said.

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