Female candidates of the Liberian Women Political Forum canvassing for elected positions in the upcoming representatives and presidential elections have been advised by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to be determined and work harder in their communities as a steppingstone ‘to ascending from one step to the other,’ an Executive Mansion release has said.
“Money is not all it takes to winning elections,” the President reportedly cautioned female aspirants on Tuesday, August 8 when she held an interactive engagement meeting with about 152 female candidates at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Madam Sirleaf’s advice comes from her experience as the first female president of Liberia and in Africa.
The President said it was regrettable that in 2011, the number women elected to the legislature dropped to eight from 13 in 2005. This was a setback, she said, and challenged women to work and take the necessary actions before the October 10 elections.
To correct the mistakes, female candidates should show their individual achievements in their various communities that will serve as testimonies towards their realization, Madam Sirleaf noted and stressed the need for the unification of forces if women must succeed. She underscored the imperative to identify formidable female candidates in the various districts that could be overwhelmingly elected.
The way forward should encompass the meeting of minds, strategic planning, and working with the head of the Liberia Women’s Political Forum, Madam Ruth Caesar, and other women leaders towards winnable outcomes, advised President Sirleaf.
Politics is not an easy game, she observed, adding, “I did not come to the presidency from the top to the button; you will have to climb step-by-step.” She said women who been working in their communities have sowed seeds already and are standing on solid ground. She encouraged them to continue to work.
She pledged her continued commitment to working with the Liberian Women’s Political Forum and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to increase the number of women representation in the legislature. She commended the female candidates for their commitment to moving the country forward.
Madam Caesar said since 2005, the women’s struggle have always been an uphill task.
Acting Gender Minister, Sieane Abdul-Baki, said the women of Liberia are proud of President Sirleaf’s work and service to the nation for 12 consecutive years in peace and stability. She praised the President for her tenacity and fortitude exhibited over the years.
Minister Abdul-Baki then presented the 152 female candidates, including one presidential and six vice presidential candidates, to President Sirleaf.