Former Pres. Sirleaf Chided for Lackluster Support to Women’s Bills

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Dr. Peter Coleman

Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf delayed and treated with benign concern the passage into law of women related bills when she was President, according to Grand Kru County Senator and Senate Committee Chairperson on Gender, Dr. Peter Colman.

For the 12 years that she spent in power as head of state, Dr. Coleman said Madam Sirleaf should have exhausted her agenda on gender issues that are today being pushed by women’s groups.

Addressing a mock parliament organized by the Women’s Legislative Caucus, Dr. Coleman lamented that the former president had the power to act in the right direction on women’s issues but delayed.

The mock parliament was held to discuss the Affirmative Action and Domestic Violence Bills which are before the Liberian legislature for passage into law. However the bills have not gotten favorable responses from some members of the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate.

Those expressing opposition to the Bills argued that giving women parity will encourage complacency. They contend that if former President Sirleaf and other women around the world could attain high positions of leadership on the local and world stage based on their own efforts, the present generation of women can do so as well.

Lawmakers supporting the Bills said that it was very important for those who are the people’s direct representatives to give their approval to the bills in order to provide a level playing field for women, girls and people living with disabilities in the country.

Other issues deliberated by the mock parliament included the abolition of female gender cutting or FGM and proposals for making  domestic violence a criminal offense.

Among those attending the mock session were current members of the 54th legislature, former female lawmakers, rural and traditional women, students, the UN Women’s Country Representatives Marie Goreth Nizigama, Gender and Social Development Minister Williametta Tarr.

Madam Nizigama told the gathering that as an international women’s organization, UN Women is in full support of the passage of the Bills.

It is important for space to be given to women, to put them on par with their male counterparts, said Nizigama, adding that giving women space means that children have also been given space because women will make laws that will touch the lives of women, children and the general society.

She observed that the just ended elections featured several women candidates, but only a few made it to the Legislature to join the ranks of women who were already there.

Minister Tarr indicated that her entity is in full support of the Bills, but the issue of FGM will be looked into during the official hearing at the legislature.

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  2. I aree women should be empowered but not given special treatment when it comes to elected office or being qualify for a position. Madam president and other female lawmakers former and current, got there base on hard work. Campaignimg, being of service in their communities and the nation ay large.

    FGM has no, absolutely no benefit to girls or women. Infact, it is a healt hazard to girls and women and should be abolished.

    There should always be special provision for the disables.

  3. This is how people like this Dr. Coleman always see things in life, through parochial prisms bordering on self-interest and to hell with the rest. Wouldn’t it have been skewed and unidimensional if president Sirleaf had fast tracked every women agenda at the expense of the other national issues? Such narrow-mindedness goes to prove how Mr. Coleman would only cater to things of his county, or his tribe and to hell with the rest of the country if bad luck were to follow us also to have him as president of Liberia. But thank God, that selfish toxicity has not reached his brain yet for such consideration. Sounds like Trump blaming Obama for everything that didn’t work before, and regardless of the obstructionist posture by his own Republican party throughout the man’s presidency. “Bad luck pass witch.”

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