A female aspirant for the representative seat of District #1, Gbeato in River Gee County has said if elected in 2017 she will focus on education, agriculture, health and the empowerment of women as development priorities.
Madam Gertrude Jarkajue Teah made the declaration yesterday in an interview with the Daily Observer in Paynesville.
She said she was motivated to contest the District#1 legislative seat again because women representation at the Lower House is critical for global gender and political equality.
It may be recalled that Madam Gertrude Teah contested and lost the District #1 legislative seat in 2011.
“We have had several consultations over the years with grassroots organizations, tribal groups and stakeholders in District #1, and the political environment looks great and promising in 2017,” she said.
Madam Teah added that she is armed with the requisite legislative tools, experience, and cultural and educational background to provide sound leadership for development and progress of District#1 in River Gee County.
“I have done considerable work on the ground in the district by creating small and medium women’s programs that we think have helped to elevate the potentials of our women and youth groups,” she said.
Addressing other aspirants, she reminded them of the old saying that ‘winners never quit and quitters never win’ in any social, political and economic contest in any society.
“Come October 10, 2017 we will endure to push the agenda of our women so that our representation will be felt at our National Legislature at every level,” Madam Teah said.
She pointed out that it is a fact that women have a lot of hurdles, especially cultural barriers, when it comes to politics in Liberia.
She said over years in District#1, two women’s groups have been organized under the banners of ‘United Sisters’ and ‘Progress Women’ to enhance their respective businesses.
Madam Teah said four years ago, two separate fundraisers were organized through due payment and beauty pageants that generated L$400,000.
The money, she said, was loaned to some business women through a revolving initiative that benefitted many women in the district and other parts of the county.
Shedding a light on agriculture, Madam Teah said, as an example, cassava has eight different methods of preparation that could help farmers and their dependants improve their financial status across Liberia.
The District#1 representative aspirant disclosed that her many visits to the district have led her into the classroom, where she teaches history in the only high school in the area.
Madam Teah said cultural barriers against women political aspirants can only be defeated through determination.
She argued that despite her defeat in 2011, she did not give up as other aspirants did, most of who never returned to the district.
Madam Teah said the fact that she was able to go back to the district and thank her supporters for their fortitude has increased her support in the district, with support from the youth at an appreciable level through social activities such as sports.
She said that with most of the feeder roads in the district in bad conditions, most of her campaign activities will be carried out by walking to the villages and towns of the district.
Meanwhile, she urged all contestants to focus their campaign messages on issues affecting the district, and must avoid personality attacks.