One of Liberia’s international advocates of women’s issues, Dr. Thelma Awori, has expressed joy over Liberia’s market women contributions in promoting education and bringing development to the people of Liberia.
Dr. Awori made the disclosure yesterday in an interview with the Daily Observer, describing Liberian women as important to world development.
She said over the years, some of the market women worked with have become models for Africa and have traveled to other countries including Malawi and Ghana to share their perspectives.
“These women last year had a meeting in Ghana with other market women and agreed to form the Market Women Association of West Africa. And they are going to find a place in ECOWAS to begin talking about their issues in ECOWAS,” she said, “the thing they want for ECOWAS to do for market women in West Africa.
“Market women have had the spirit that other women are better than them, because they are poor, wear one lappa. But we don’t want women to have these kinds of thoughts. We want women to feel equal no matter what you wear. No matter you having been to school or not, you have something to contribute and need to be proud of who you are,” Dr. Awori said.
She noted that many of Liberia’s market women have been able to send their children to high school, university and these women deserve appreciation and encouragement.
“We have to applaud these women for the level of achievements despite all of the challenges they are faced with. Liberia’s market women have gone ahead to send their children abroad, build houses, build the capacity of their children at different levels,” she observed.
Dr. Awori said she remains very happy as International Women Day serves as recognition to Liberia.
“I live outside of Liberia and everywhere Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s name is, is a great credit to Liberia. Some people often say that some countries didn’t have such a terrible war but are unable to elect a female president and we can boast that even the United States is behind us,” she said.
Dr. Awori said she is always passionate about market women and is hoping to see more progress from the women of Africa, adding that, “We want to give voice to women whose voices are not heard in some places.”
She stressed that Liberia will forever be remembered as the first country in Africa to elect a female president and no one will change Liberia history on such a remarkable achievement.