He For She Crusaders Liberia (HEFOSEL), a gender advocacy group, has frowned the Ruling Coalition For Democratic Change (CDC) for its failure at its recent primaries to produce a single female to contest the December 2020 senatorial election.
The group believes that the party’s action is an attempt to ‘give a blind eye to women’s Political participation and deny them to be heard.’
Tamba Johnson, HEFOSEL, National Coordinator, said all 14 candidates announced by the Ruling Political Party are men with no name or face of a single female candidate. This accordingly undermines the Second Edition of Liberian Women Manifesto launched by President George M. Weah during the observance of the 2020 International Women’s Day; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence Against Women, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (The Maputo Protocol) among other treaties and conventions.
“If a party that has over half of its members being women, cannot produce a single female candidate across the 15 counties for the senatorial elections pending for December, what would be the assurance of women, girls and marginalized groups’ Human Rights protection and promotion?” Johnson questioned.
Johnson reminded the CDC that among the 26 lists of issues emanating from the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights on Liberia of March 2018 mandated the government of Liberia to address the issue of violence against women and their exclusion in decision-making.
He said a party whose political leader claimed to be “He For She & Chief Feminist” needs to do more when it comes to increasing women in parliament and promoting women’s inclusiveness.
Johnson called on President Weah to commit himself to the fight against women’s marginalization in Liberia by actions and deeds.
He said, “In President Weah’s 2018 Inauguration commitment, he assured Liberians and the International body that his stand on the promotion and inclusiveness of all citizens in his government, with emphasis on women and girls’ rights, but it is today a known fact that women’s rights are being violated at all levels under the leadership of the Feminist-in-Chief and a He For She, with the newest being the exclusion of females from his party list.”
Johnson further emphasized that the increase in rape cases, domestic abuse, and low women involvement and inclusion in this government demonstrate that Liberia is far from achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pallor five which highlights “Gender Equality”.
It may be recalled that former Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry, Jamima Wolokollie, expressed an interest in contesting against popular Montserrado County Senator Darius Dillon, but could not be endorsed by her party, the Congress for Democratic Change. For rifts between her and some senior party officials including the chairman of the ruling party, Mulbah Morlu, Madam Wolokollie was expelled from the party and also dismissed from her position.
On the other hand, political parties are always seeking a selling candidate to contest in an election while the Liberian Constitution is clear on the right for every citizen regardless of gender to contest. Johnson, therefore, called on other political parties to consider female candidates on their tickets, adding that it is time for the ruling party to rise above shame to nominate females to contest on its ticket and to give them appointed positions at top key managerial levels in government.
He told women to let go of divisiveness and unite in supporting qualified women’s candidates to contest in the December 8 Senatorial election, noting,” If women vote women, men will barely have any space in the Country; Liberia is for all Liberians, stop the blind eyes and incorporate gender sensitivity in all spaces.”