-Ends Two Days Intensive Civic Awareness Campaign
Ahead of the July 31, 2018 senatorial by-elections in Montserrado and Bong Counties, the Organization for Women and Children (ORWOCH) is encouraging women in the two counties to turnout in their numbers to vote.
The organization is also inspiring women in the country to be active participants in all electoral processes in the country.
The organization made the call in a statement issued Sunday at the end of a two-day intensive civic awareness campaign with a walk beginning from Airfield to the headquarters of the National Elections Commission (NEC) on 9th street in Sinkor.
The organization wants the total involvement of women in the body politics of Liberia for their views to be heard in the decision-making process of the country at all times.
Also addressing a team of journalists at the end of the walk on Sunday at the front gate of the NEC, Mrs. Mmonbeydo Joah Harrell, the Executive Director of ORWOCH explained that the aim of the civic awareness was to encourage women to get out and vote.
Mrs. Harrell stated that 15 years after women played a key role in the process; there is still limited number of women occupying seats at the legislature.
Mrs. Harrell also recognized that women are about 51% of the population in the country, yet only nine out of the current 64 seats in the House of Representatives and two out of 28 women in the House of Legislature occupy seats.
“It is time that actors in the House of Legislature look again at the Affirmative Action Bill,” she told reporters Sunday in Monrovia.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Harrell is calling on President George Manneh Weah whom she claimed has appointed under 12% of women in office to increase the number since there are enough qualified women around.
Also speaking at the end of the civic awareness campaign was Madam Florence Kaydee, former Representative of Montserrado County electoral district eight in the 2017 presidential and legislative elections in the country.
According to Madam Kaydee, their quest will yield a fruitful result because their male counterparts have listened to them with keen interest, saying it is not about one person or a group, but collective issues.
“Liberia is for us all and we know that women are key when it comes to decision making. If more women get positions in government, it will create better impact. This will enable us have a better government. Elections is not about the men, women should be a part of elections. More women should be elected in the house,” Madam Kaydee added.
This, she said the rights of women will be met and more Bills will be passed in the interest of women. She lamented that the ‘Affirmative Action Bill’ has suffered serious setbacks since the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf due to the less number of women at the legislature.
“Men shouldn’t see women as people that belong only to the kitchen. We know that women have more potentials, women are decision makers and they can do better. By electing more women into the house, we all are going to work together and do better,” she noted.
She wants the National Elections Commission (NEC) to mandate all political parties to ensure at least 30% women participation in elections.
ORWOCH is an organization that works to increase women’s participation in the democratic process, and the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence in Liberia. ORWOCH is being supported by OXFAM under the Funding Leadership for Women Project with funds from the Government of Netherlands.