The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) on Monday conducted its leadership elections with no women representation in the leadership structure.
Members of the PUL elected Kamara A. Kamara and Jallah Grayfield as president and vice respectively while D. Kaiheneh Sengbe and Daniel Nyankonah were elected Secretary and deputy. These elections bring to the fore, the many years of women’s under-representation in the media-related organizations, leaving many of that class, disenchanted.
Most of the female journalists greeted the results of the elections with anger and frustration knowing that their voices will probably not be heard during decision-making since their representative, and the only female candidate in the elections, Siatta Scott-Johnson, failed to collect the votes required.
The females under the banner, Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FEJAL), heavily supported Madam Scott-Johnson but could not convince majority of their male counterparts to cast ballots for Siatta, who was defeated by Mr. Jallah Grayfield.
Immediately after the results were announced, the women folded their hands in sadness and some openly vented out their anger by shouting, “Selfish and wicked men. Why you men are so disappointing and evil.”
“This is our last time participating in any PUL election,” some were heard saying.
“You men think we are good to be in the back and not in decision-making positions, but never will this happen again,” another of their group threatened.
FEJAL members, including Estelle Liberty and Torwon S. Browne Tuesday, 10 December declared at a media gathering that they (females) will resist most decisions at the Union. They, however, did not specify the decisions that would be resisted by them.
Media watchers observed that since the Union’s activities and fundings come from donors, how to present an all-male PUL leadership remains a challenge in a world driven by gender-equity.
Since organizations like IREX, USAID and OSIWA believe in female participation at all levels, the successful operations of this new leadership for the next three years remains doubtful to many media developers across the country.
Jallah Grayfield succeeds Melissa Chea-Anna, a female, who served the Union during the later days of her tenure, from the United States.