The United Nations in Liberia commends NEC on the signing of an MOU

MONROVIA- The United Nations in Liberia, through the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) commends political parties and the National Elections Commission (NEC) on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Section 4.5 of the Elections Law, which governs the nomination of candidates for elective positions in the upcoming elections. The signing of the MoU on 11 May 2023, is a significant milestone towards greater inclusion of women in the 2023 elections as it strengthens the commitment of political parties to ensure not less than 30 percent women on their candidate listings.

The United Nations also recognizes the important role of the Interparty Consultative Committee in drafting and validating the MoU. This MoU on candidate nomination follows the signing of the Farmington Declaration which reaffirms the commitment of political parties to implement the Violence Against Women in Elections Protocol, and to foster peaceful, more inclusive elections.

Liberia is currently ranked 162 out of 185 on the Inter-parliamentary Union’s list of women in national parliaments. Despite women and girls constituting around 50 percent of the population, women in Liberia occupy less than 11 percent of the 103 seats in the Legislature. The percentage of women has fallen since 2006 – a trend which correlates to a decrease in the percentage of women on candidate listings over time.

The United Nations commends national partners – the NEC; Women’s Legislative Caucus; the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection; women’s rights organizations; and other civil society organizations – for their efforts to promote reforms of Liberia’s Elections Law. The concerted and continued efforts of these partners and their engagements with the Legislature and the political parties have paved the way for the Legislative passage of Amendment 4.5 of the Elections Law, and for the signing of the MOU by political parties to include a minimum of 30 percent representation of women on their candidate’s lThe United Nations further commends those political parties that have taken concrete steps to include 40 percent or more women on their candidate listings. This demonstrates a strong commitment to fostering more internally democratic political parties and to achieve a more inclusive and equitable Liberia.

The United Nations calls on political actors to consistently enforce the MOU and stands ready to support national partners – including Ministries, Agencies and Commissions, local government structures, and political parties – to develop or reform laws and policies that provide for temporary special measures, including gender quotas for elected and appointed positions, in line with Liberia’s international, regional, and national commitments.

The United Nations in Liberia acknowledges the partnership and support of the European Union, Government of Sweden, Government of Ireland, and the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund in promoting greater gender equality and women’s engagement in political and governance processes in Liberia.

 

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