‘Choose Any of These as Your Running Mate’

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Liberian Women have put forward the names of prominent women as candidates for the vice presidency in the upcoming 2017 presidential and legislative elections.

Delivering a statement from the women on International Women’s Day (IWD) national celebration recently held in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, the county’s former superintendent, Madam Etweda Sugars Cooper, named Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, women’s rights advocate Ruth Caesar and Constitution Review Commission (CRC) Chairperson, Gloria M. Scott as their three candidates who should be the running mates for any presidential contestant.

According to Madam Cooper, anyone vying for the presidency must take one of these women as their running mate in order to have the backing of Liberian women.

In the last national population and housing census, which was conducted by the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information and Services (LISGIS) in 2008, there were over 40,000 more men enumerated than their female counterparts.

The population difference stood at 1,764,555 males and 1,724,517 females. Since that census, it is not clear how wide the gap now stands between the sexes and how many more women have now reached the voting age of 18.

Touching on the IWD, Madam Cooper stated that as the world celebrated the day, Liberian women were proud of their achievements in the face of many barriers that they have overcome.

Among their achievements, she stated that the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has been successful in coordinating with all other agencies of government to mainstream gender issues in the work place.

“Fellow Liberians, the Liberian women are not victims but conquerors. We will continue to fight for our rights. We will no longer sit in the back seat but will work side by side with our male counterparts,” she stated.

She maintained that Liberian women are now the architects of their own destinies and they will build for themselves a world they want to live in in Liberia.

Brief Profiles of the women considered eligible for the Vice Presidency

Jewel Cianeh Howard Taylor, born January 17, 1963, is a politician and current Senator from Bong County. She was married to President Charles Taylor and was First Lady of Liberia during his presidency. In 2005, she was elected to the Liberian Senate, representing Bong County. She is a member of the National Patriotic Party.

When her former husband was President, Sen. Taylor held a number of official posts in the Liberian government, including Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Liberia, president of the Agriculture Cooperative and Development Bank (ACDB) and Mortgage Financing Underwriter of the First Union National Bank.

Taylor holds a graduate degree in Banking and two bachelors’ in banking and economics. On December 21, 2011, she graduated from the Louise Arthur Grimes School of Law of the state-owned University of Liberia.

Gloria Musu Scott is presently the Chairperson of the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) of Liberia. Before she was appointed to this post by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, she served in the National Legislature as Senator for Maryland County.

Madam Scott served as the Chief Justice of the Republic of Liberia from 1997 to 2003 during the presidency of Mr. Charles Taylor.

She headed the Judicial Branch of the Liberian Government and was the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court of Liberia.

Ruth Gibson Caesar is a development economist, who has worked for the government of Liberia in the areas of budgeting, financial and economic planning, and the NGOs and international agencies in areas comprising gender equity and women’s empowerment, conflict resolution and peace-building. She was the Deputy Executive Director for Operations at the National Commission on Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (NCDDRR). A former member of the National Legislature and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mrs. Caesar is a founding member and national focal point of the Liberia chapter of the Mano River Women’s Peace Network (MARWOPNET), a network aimed at maintaining peace in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia through lobbying, networking, holding dialogue with warring parties, heads of state and authorities, ECOWAS, UN, AU, EU and other leaders, and participating in meditation and negotiations among warring parties during the Accra peace talks which ended the brutal Liberian civil conflict. She is a staunch women’s rights advocate.

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