Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) for women’s empowerment, with support from the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), yesterday embarked on a nationwide quick impact project on governance.
At a press conference over the weekend, ABIC coordinator Cllr. Yvette Chesson Wureh said the project will boost women’s participation in the ongoing voter registration as well as enhance gender representation in the forthcoming presidential and representative elections.
“More importantly this will lead to a long term increase in women’s participation in all areas of governance, decision making and their involvement in the local and national planning processes,” she said.
The project was launched against the backdrop that despite having the first female President in Liberia and Africa, women are still being marginalized in Liberia. Women, she said, are allowed to play back seat roles, evidenced by the low representation of females in the National Legislature.
“We are aware of the drop in women’s representation in the legislature from 14 percent in 2005 to approximately 11 percent currently.
“As we speak, Liberia is globally ranked 146th in terms of women’s participation in parliament out of 190 countries surveyed by the Inter-parliament Union as of January 2017. This is not a good ranking for a country with the first elected female President on the continent of Africa; and as such, we must do everything possible to improve our rank,” she said.
The legislature, she warned, should not only be the target for women, and called on women to begin from the grassroots level to ensure their involvement in the governance and planning processes in every sector of Liberia.
The project will be held simultaneously in Bopolu City, Voinjama, Barclayville, Saniquellie, Harper, Zwedru, Buchanan, Gbarnga, among others.
The forum will engage Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including women’s and youth groups, human rights organizations, grassroots organizations, religious and community leaders.
During the engagements, county officials, specifically superintendents, are expected to be present.
Clle. Wereh extended appreciation to UNMIL and her project team for their support and hoped that more women would be targeted.