PAYOWI Stresses Need for ‘Transformative Leadership’ for Sustainable Development

Beneficiaries of the one-day training posed.

200 women, girls poised to get training in transformative leadership in Montserrado and Margibi Counties

The Paramount Young Women Initiative has stressed the need for women to work together to achieve transformative leadership in order realized sustainable development in Liberia.

Hawa C. Wilson, program officer of the Paramount Young Women Initiative (PAYOWI), made the assertion recently at a one-day training for 50 women and girls in Marshall and Duazon, Margibi County.

Ms. Wilson said the project focuses on the strategic development of women and girls’ leadership skills and that it challenges those odds that have been built over the years to bring positive change.

“It talks about fighting for social justice for women and girls as well as others in society. From the feminist landscape, it talks more about inclusiveness and consciousness, therefore, as a transformative leader, you need to consider everyone,” Ms. Wilson said.   

The training under the theme: “Enough! Positive Action to End Sexual Gender-Based Violence in Liberia” with support from OXFAM, focuses on women and girls intensifying their knowledge and scope of idea on women’s participation at all levels.

She indicated that discussions of transformative leadership from the community level will enable women in their various homes to bring up their children, stating, “In order to transform Liberia, we will have to start in our homes and communities.”   

Ms. Wilson said the Liberian society along with a traditional style of leadership over the years has created a space for women and girls to be voiceless and always at the back in decision-making in the society.

“Traditional leadership in Liberia calls for men to hold top positions, while women are given low positions, therefore, changing the narratives will allow us to realize sustainable development. Women have skills and abilities to hold top positions in community leadership, organizations and the larger society,” she told participants.

According to Ms. Wilson, the issue of gender which has to do with the role and responsibilities assigned to men and women or boys and girls by society continues to negatively hamper Liberia’s development because men are always given the space for positions and decisions at all levels.

“We should allow our boys children to be good husbands by allowing them to cook, wash dishes or clothes, sweep yard and anything that the girls’ children can do in the home and also the girls’ children doing what the boys can do in the home. By this, we will build a society where the man and woman can equally take care of the home and not leaving the man with the responsibilities to provide everything for the home,” Ms. Wilson told participants.

Ms. Wilson said husband and wife in the developed world today do everything equally, including preparation of food for the home, going to the market, taking clothes to the laundry, and paying bills for the running of the home contrary to the happenings in Liberia.

“The women are more than men, therefore, we need to also start vying for top positions at the community leadership level and other organizations within the community. Usually, political parties give treasurer position to women, which shows that women are very good managers, but we need to complete for top positions in order to make decisions about the change we want for Liberia,” Ms. Wilson said.

Ms. Wilson said the project will also focus on school girls, especially ensuring that girls have the skills to serve at various levels in their school and community.

She said most times they get shy away because of structural and systematic traditional norms that say women cannot serve certain levels when their counterparts are qualified or participating.

Diana D. Jarka, one of the participant said she was elated to participate in a transformative leadership and promised to support women wanting to hold or form part of leadership at any levels.

Mrs. Jarka also promised to work with women in her community to take leadership positions organizations within the community and organization.

She called on national government and partners to continue to support local organizations, stating, “They make more impact on us, both the educated and the uneducated.”

Watta V. Massaquoi, a participant from Duazon community said the training on transformative leadership will help women and girls in the transformation of Liberia for the good of society.

“I have participated in many pieces of training but this seems to be eye-opening for in terms of decision-making. We have learned the attributes of traditional leadership, and we believe that transformative leadership is the best for us,” Ms. Massaquoi said.

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Alvin Worzi is a Liberian journalist with over seven years of professional experience. For the past few years, he has been engaged in covering land issues, security, education, gender related issues, politics, and agriculture. Mr. Worzi is currently the Assistant Secretary General of the Executive Mansion Press Corps (conglomeration of reporters assigned at the Executive Mansion). Mr. Worzi is a member of the Press Union of Liberia.


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