By Hannah N. Geterminah
The Women’s Situation Room (WSR) for the promotion of peace before, during and after the 2017 presidential and representative elections was yesterday inaugurated by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The WSR is a women’s peace building mechanism to mitigate conflict before, during and after elections in African countries. It mobilizes women in collaboration with youth to ensure their active participation in peaceful electoral processes. The WSR is a non-partisan, neutral endeavor.
At the launch, President Sirleaf expressed thanks to Liberian youth for maintaining the peace the country now enjoys as they (the youth) are now getting to understand the importance of a peaceful nation.
The President said Liberians have contributed to the success of the country, indicating that the youth have made it possible that during the campaign there has been no violence in the nation.
She further indicated that she joins many Africans leaders in telling the WSR that what they are doing is amplifying a call for a peaceful society in the world.
President Sirleaf said the role of women in building a peaceful society is essential because the work within the situation room will help to solve elections violence.
The initiator of the WSR, Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh, said the role of the youth in the WSR is vital because the youth are major actors in the country.
“We cannot do without the youth because they are the ones who are going to get in the street if there is any form of violence. We have to work with them to ensure that the process is peaceful,” Cllr. Chesson-Wureh stressed.
She said the WSR will help stop elections violence and get the youth involved in the process of having violence free elections.
Cllr. Chesson-Wureh further emphasized that knowing violence can be a challenge during elections, supporting an effort that seeks to prevent electoral violence like the WSR is important.
She said the WSR is more than the prevention of violence during elections, adding that it also is about participation, respect and opportunity for women to influence how politics is carried out in Liberia.