As we continue the dialogue among peace messengers on women in power, the dialogue took a different dimension when a young volunteer peace messenger mentioned that the issue should not only be centered on women in power, and that ongoing dialogues should include women in development.
We were all taken aback when the young volunteer peace messenger elaborated her point to define women in development as younger women aspiring to higher positions of power.
Wikipedia defined women in development (WID as it is commonly known) as an approach to development projects that emerged in the 1970s, calling for treatment of women’s issues in development projects. It went on to state that it is the integration of women into national or global economies by improving their statuses and assisting in total development.
Over the years and in recent memories, more Liberian women have become direct beneficiaries and recipients of development projects, and few women in power or in leadership positions are involved in providing assistance to other women.
With growing awareness of women’s issues, there is an urgent need for younger women to position themselves for leadership. We can no longer rely on women in power to dictate our development; we need to prepare ourselves to take advantage of the programs provided by professional women’s groups operating in Liberia and abroad.
Women in power could make a powerful difference in their respective fields through supporting women in development. If one woman in power could inspire other women, a huge difference would be made in the lives of women.
Young women would continue to look up to women in power for inspiration. To draw from the stream of knowledge and wealth, young women in Liberia would require moral and economic transformation. We need to put in place certain values of trust in ourselves and in others.
We need discipline in the soul. It takes a small group of women to empower others because, according to George Washington, ‘discipline makes small formidable; procures success to the weak and esteem to all.’
A principled uprightness of character and personal commitment to deeply held ethical principles are core and essential requirements for women in development to moving forward and to make things right.
At Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia, we are deeply committed to serving other women and to promoting the meaningful involvement and active participation of younger women in peace and security matters. We are proactively communicating and engaging the services of women in power.
MOP-Liberia believes in collaborating and partnering with others through full transparency and putting the interest of young people first. Our focus is on accountability for the peace programs that we undertake and we encourage everyone, especially women in power, to join us.
As we work diligently to recover from decades of discrimination against women in development, it is encumbered on women in power to support other women regardless of their color, creed and faith.
Until next week when we come to you with part four of our series on women in power, let peace be your ‘watch work,’ peace first, peace above all else. May peace prevail on earth!