Stop Marginalizing Us, Bassa District Women Tell County Leaders

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Women’s groups from the various districts in Grand Bassa County say they are fed up with being left out of decision making in the county and want the county leadership to include them in the formulation of their county’s development agenda.

The district women regretted that the county leadership always called on only a handful of residents of Buchanan City when making decisions on county development, rather than promote women’s participation in order to make its decisions more broadly based in the interest of the entire citizenry.

The women’s dissatisfaction was contained in a resolution presented at the close of their district women’s conference recently hosted by the Bassa Women Development Association (BAWODA) in the commercial city of
Buchanan.

The conference resolution spelled out that the district women’s recommendation for their inclusion in county affairs stemmed from what they described as their “marginalization by the county leadership, who have always been in the habit of making decision on matters that affect our lives and the county in general’’ without their input.

The district women’s conference, which was founded by the American Jewish World Services (AJWS), brought together 12 women participants representing the 720 women who were trained in basic leadership skills by BAWODA in collaboration with AJWS.

During the conference, the district women formulated a network to foster unity among them and provide an avenue to speak with one voice in addressing issues affecting women and girls especially with regards to the usage of the social development fund and other resources of the county.

The Bassa district women said that they are concerned about how the county Social Development Funds benefit them; and the county leadership not involving them in deliberations to identify priority needs of the citizenry for the transformation of the war torn county.

The women, in their resolution, urged the county leadership, headed by Superintendent Etweda Cooper, to include them in the county decision making, the social development agenda and regular meetings to enable them to share their individual and collective ideas along with the men for the betterment of the county and its people.

At the close of the conference, the executive director of BAWODA, Madam Martha Flajay- Karngar, expressed appreciation to AJWS for its continuous support to BAWODA, which enables it to offer quality training to enhance the qualifications and sustainability of the women of Grand Bassa County Madam Kanga disclosed that BAWODA, which is a non-governmental and non-political organization, aims to train and empower women and young girls and unite them through the provision of playground facilities for youth and children and leadership skills.

She appealed to the county authority, legislative caucus, humanitarian organizations and personalities of goodwill for assistance in cash or kind that would facilitate and buttress BAWODA’s endeavors for the benefit of the women and young people of Grand Bassa County.

She commended the studiousness of the district women’s groups demonstrated by learning and subsequently formulating a network that would enable them to speak with one voice and their eagerness to participate in decision making, especially on county development issues.

Speaking on behalf of her fellow participants, the head of the district women’s network, Madam Marie Karmanjay, thanked BAWODA and AJWS for teaching them about their rights and responsibilities thereby helping to erase the notion that women are only house keepers.

AJWS consultant, Joseph Dayou, pledged his organization’s commitment to support BAWODA in its initiatives to empower the women of Grand Bassa County to know their rights and responsibilities in making their individual and collective contributions to the socio-economic and infrastructural development of post war Grand Bassa County and Liberia.

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