Liberia: Medica Liberia, POWER Liberia Kick-Off Gender Quota Advocacy

Some women of the Liberia People’s Party (LPP) outlining the importance of women in politics and the Gender Quota Bill

A nationwide quest to ensure gender equity within the political space is taking giant steps with the involvements of major stakeholders, both locally and internationally. 

The latest effort that looks in that direction is a UN Women supported project that is being implemented by Medica Liberia and Progress and Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Rights-Liberia (POWER-Liberia) in collaboration Coalition of Political Parties’ Women in Liberia (COPPWIL) geared to ensure the realization of the Gender Quota Bill. 

The project, under the title: “Promoting Inclusive Political Participation and Elimination of Violence against Women in Politics, aims to discuss political parties’ position on the 30% Gender Quota and other issues regarding support to women’s participation in politics.  

At the kick-off of the engagement, the two women rights based organizations met with the leadership of the Liberia People’s Party (LPP) to ascertain efforts by the party towards achieving this bill. 

Making brief remarks at the meeting, the Program Lead of POWER Liberia, Josephine G. Urey, informed the party that the project also seeks to address other negative vices against women in politics including violence against women in elections (VAWE) among others. 

“Under this project, we are speaking to political parties’ leadership or designated persons on the status of implementation of Gender Quota Bill at the level of each political party. So we are here to know the level of compliance of the parity law at the level of the Liberia People’s Party. This project also seeks to address other issues such as VAWE,” said Urey. 

In response to the inquiry, the National Assistant Secretary General, Amos Y. Ba-tua, affirmed the LPP’s commitment to the full realization of the Bill, noting that the structure and past activities of the party are clear indications of its commitment to the document. 

“We strongly believe in the 30 percent gender quota bill, but it’s just that there are some challenges along the way. For instance, a lot of women are still shying away from getting involved into politics and even those that are participating don’t want to come at the full front. However, as a party, we are playing our part by talking to a lot of women to come and join us,” the LPP ASG stated. 

According to him, the LPP is considering fielding more female aspirants at its ensuing convention slated for December.

Though the LPP does not have a written gender policy, Ba-tua informed stakeholders that it (LPP) has considered women in its leadership structure. 

“As I speak to you, two out of six members of our leadership are women one of which is our Vice Chairperson for Women’s Affairs and the other is the Co-Chair for Montserrado County. We have gone out to prioritize women in all of our activities,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Martha Ballah, Medical Liberia Project Lead, said during the course of the project,they will try as much as possible to engage various political parties to know their level of efforts towards the actualization of the gender parity bill. 

“We are having these kinds of engagements with the hope that one day there will be more women represented. So, we look forward to a more fruitful engagement,” she stated among other things.