Liberia: Men Without Women Is A Non-Starter

March 8, 2022 is International Women's Day. We celebrate this Day because men would be nowhere without women. Women bring forth men and women as well as boys and girls. Many men argue that it takes the man to get together with the woman to bring forth any human being. This is true but we must remember that the woman is the person who carries males and females in her body to give them birth. This carriage means that men would be nowhere 1without women.

As we approach International Women's Day 2022, it remains of highest importance to focus on women because women remain second class citizens in general. Women continue to be considered by men as persons to be seen only in the bedroom, in the kitchen, doing house cleaning and taking care of children. Some highly schooled men with doctoral degrees have reached the point where they are ashamed of their lappa wearing Mothers. These are the same lappa wearing Mothers who sell rice, potato greens, bananas, paw-paw and other food items to get money to send their highly schooled children to school. In fact, these highly schooled children are uneducated and uncilvilized because they are ashamed of their Mothers and continue to consider them to be uneducated and uncivilized.

These lappa wearing Mothers who are considered wrongly to be uneducated and uncivilized, plus other unschooled persons in Liberia comprise the majority of the people of Liberia, are prevented from participating in national decision-making that affects them. Yet, Liberia is considered by the powers that be and their foreign partners to be a democracy, although their actions are in violation of the Constitution of Liberia, as found in Chapter One of the Constitution.

Imagine that many women, faced with this system that is unfair to women, continue to argue for the 30 percent women participation rate in the National Legislature of Liberia. The argument for 30 percent participation of women is wrong because it violates the Constitution of Liberia. Whenever 100 positions are available, and committed and competent women qualify to hold 90 percent of the positions and only10 percent men qualify, then the 90 percent of the positions should be occupied by women.

Look at what is happening in Rwanda, considered by many as a shining example of womanhood. Although 55 percent of the Legislators in Rwanda are women, the current government assassinated two Rwandan non-ruling political party leaders in Rwanda and tried to assassinate another Rwandan non-ruling political party leader in South Africa, resulting in the deportation of the Rwandan Ambassador from South Africa. The Way Forward for the Better is not about the quantity of participation! The Way Forward for the Better is about the quality of participation! The Way Forward for the Better is not about participation to promote dictatorship! The Way Forward for the Better is about participation to promote democracy!  

In the bad system found in Liberia, one can find good examples of women. Some of the good examples are seen in the respective works of the late Prof. Dr. Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman of the University of Liberia; the late Dr. Mary Nema Fahnbulleh of the Liberian Women Initiative, and the late Judge Cllr. Emma Shannon Walser. A living example is seen in the recent work of Ms. Leila Fofana who rescued the menatlly ill Ms. Anna Chea from the streets of Monrovia. 

Dr. Brownell combined her concern for others in an inter-religious way by working with Sheikh Kafumba Konneh to form the Servants of Africa Fighting Ebola (SAFE). As a Co-worker with Dr. Brownell, I became a part of SAFE and together we worked to get the Community to take ownership of the anti-ebola process, resulting in placing ebola in Liberia in the dustbin of Liberian history. But with the emergence of the corona pandemic, the experience from the ebola crisis became helpful, as SAFE was transformed into the Servants of Africa Fighting Epidemics (SAFE), working with the same method learned from the ebola experience.

This method of working with the Community has resulted in the direct coverage of nearly two million Liberians in Liberia by promoting the washing of hands, the wearing of masks and the observance of social distance. However, with the continuation of the violation of public health protocols, especially seen in public buildings, commercial vehicles and market places, much more work in raising awareness in the Community has to be done. Hopefully, this piece is part of the work to help in raising awareness about saving lives by following the public health protocols.