MESSENGERS OF PEACE

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This week, we conclude our series on women in power. The central theme to this discourse is on three observations; first is how women in power empower other women, peer approach to growth and behavior of younger women to development.

We have observed and noted in our column that women in power need to improve and support other women to grow and develop. Most often, not enough is done for the other women; these women see other women as challenging their positions and therefore undermine them. We also dialogued that as peers, the crab in the barrel syndrome prevails. As cohorts, we tend to pull each other down rather than carry each other along. The younger generations of women are rather confused with the way we treat one another and they find it difficult to imbibe the fundamental values that make us women of substance.

The key message is not to give in to pessimism but to remain stable and look forward to the growth of Liberia in 2030. Polarization is not going to solve anyone’s problem. We need to maintain our core values of respect for self, trust in others and accountability to society.

Another important point worth noting; is that we are not doing enough for ourselves and for each other. This is one missing piece that we need to bridge. Any society with a cohesive women movement is not only peaceful but it is always thriving. Faith in other women is like a boomerang, which Charles L. Allen said, “begin using what you have and it comes back to you in greater measures.”

Liberian women in power should draw examples from the Nordic culture where women in power support younger women even from other cultures. Their support to others can be liken to the words of Os Guinness, “Infinite and yet personal, personal and yet infinite…”

In earlier cultures, women leadership and women in power is like family where women generally are responsible for the growth of others. They feed, clothe and discipline children even children from other families. According to Sara Wenger Shenn, “There is nothing quite so deeply satisfying as the solidarity of a family united across the generations and miles by a common faith and history.”

My mentor tells me, we need swan (group) behavior in Liberia to help sustain peace as no one individual can do this. The quest for peace requires swan behavior to be effective. Therefore, we need to learn this behavior and apply it to peace.

Our older women have demonstrated the importance of this approach in several spheres and it is incumbent on young women to draw from this wealth of knowledge and experience.

Young women need to put aside their personal interest and volunteer for peace. Government and the international community need to involve youth led organizations for peace. By involvement, they (Government and International Donor Community) need to establish a trust fund for youth based organizations and fund peace activities.

Until next week when we come to you with another of our series on Adolescent and Peace, let peace be your watch work, peace first, peace above all else. May peace prevail on earth!

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