The Liberia Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE), a local partner of UNDP Liberia and UN Women implementing the PBF Project titled "Promoting Inclusive Political Participation and Elimination of Violence against Women in Politics" in River Cess, Sinoe, and Grand Kru Counties, recently increased its awareness-raising efforts in southeast Liberia to build capacities and entice young women to participate in political leadership contests.
According to a UN Women press release, LIFE held the exercise in Cestos, River Cess County, which was essential in advance of the general and presidential elections in 2023 as well as for empowering young women for future local leadership roles.
The December awareness-raising activity, according to LIFE, was primarily concerned with local and international laws as well as the Violence Against Women in Elections (VAWIE) Protocol. Participants from Peace Hut Women, political parties, the media, the Superintendent's Office, the local magistrate's office, the gender coordinator, youth leaders, and other women leaders made up 60 of the attendees (35 women and 25 men).
According to Mr. Foday Tunkarah, an advisor to the UN Women Peace Hut Women, during the training, "more men are now joining the fight and helping to create more awareness on the VAWiE Protocol and women leadership."
Mr. Peter Toe, a representative from the Office of the Superintendent, thanked LIFE, UN Women Liberia, UND Liberia, and the UN Peace Building Fund “for such a great endeavor.” He further stated that in past elections, River Cess County experienced different kinds of electoral violence that negatively affected women and youth.
Peace Hut Women and other female leaders had a discussion about the negative effects of election violence, which had previously prevented women from participating in politics.