With 85 days to the holding of the representatives and presidential elections, 50 female aspirants and candidates over the weekend ended an intensive political capacity-building training intended to help sharpen their understanding of politics and bring them on par with their male counterparts.
The three-day event, which ended on Saturday, was meant to enable the women to participate in debates, face their districts using the media and other platforms, respond to issues, and their strategies for the upcoming campaign.
The women were excited about the training especially the first time contestants, and called on the supporting institutions to continue the capacity-building of Liberian female politicians to empower them in their political quests.
The program was held under the theme, “Politics is Women Business Too, Winning Campaign Strategies for Women Candidates.”
Tenneh Dalieh, national program officer for Gender Equality and Human Security at the Swedish Embassy in Monrovia, said the Swedish Government in collaboration with Liberia has contributed to a range of women’s empowerment initiatives and increased progress towards gender equality in the country.
Madam Dalieh said women in Liberian politics and women in politics around the world face a range of obstacles related to gender, encouraging them to fully participate in the process.
“We are always inspired by the women who overcome these obstacles and become transformed leaders in the communities at the national and international levels. Having attended numerous programs involving women’s political empowerment, we have witnessed the strength and tenacity that Liberian women possess,” she added.
She lauded the women for joining their colleagues around the world in politics, and called on them to take advantage of every opportunity that will ensure victory for them.
“We know that your journey has met many bumps in the road, and that you will continue to encounter and overcome challenges throughout your sojourn. The embassy encourages equal participation of women in the political governance process of their country. This is reflected in the Swedish feminist policy,” she said.
She expressed the embassy’s hopes that the training will contribute to their technical capacities to conduct competitive, well-resourced and innovative campaigns and leadership contests.
She meanwhile expressed her gratitude to the UN Women, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, and the National Women Political Forum for organizing such a training that would impact and empower Liberian politicians.
On behalf of the participants, Beauty N. Barcon, Montserrado District #11 candidate, lauded the organizers for providing the opportunity to ensure that the capacities of female aspirants and candidates are built.
“We enjoyed the various presentations that have put us a step ahead, especially the upcoming elections. We want to assure our supporters and sympathizers that we remain committed to the process and stand ready to win more seats in the 54th Legislature,” Madam Barcon said.
In 2005, Madam Barcon contested District #8 in Montserrado, but lost, and has now relocated in Gardnersville Electoral District #11.