Women O Women!

This Commentary is in Celebration of International Women's Day which falls on March 8 every year. This day is being celebrated because the rights of women are not being implemented. This celebration motivates people who work for human eights to work harder and better in the struggle for women's rights. In this struggle, we remember that women's rights are human rights. In this struggle, we remember that it is impossible for men to have rights when women do not have rights.

During the Induction Program for the present leadership of the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL), the women leadership argued for thirty per cent representation of women in the National Legislature of Liberia. In my remarks at the Program, I argued against the thirty per cent representation. I argued for equal access to participation, indicating that if women qualified for ninety per cent of representation, they should have it, leaving the door open to men. In their vote seeking posture, some men were even pushing for fifty per cent representation for women.

Let us recall that women have fifty-five per cent of the representation in the National Legislature of Rwanda but Rwanda ha one of the worst human rights records in the world. The President of Rwanda. now President of the African Union (AU), ordered the execution of two opposition leaders in Rwanda and the President of South Africa ordered the deportation of  the Rwandan Ambassador to South Africa who was trying to murder a Rwandan opposition leader who sought exile in South Africa. Although women in Liberia and some men are pushing for more women to get into the National Legislature, it violates the Constitution of Liberia to have women in the Legislature engaging in poverty generation just as the male Legislators. We have the slogan of the women of Liberia: Women  O Women. Do something.  Don't sit there. Do something better to make your country and the world better. 

Fortunately, although the women of Liberia did not have the constitutional rights to vote until after World War Two, the women of Liberia, led by the late Dr. Mary Nema Brownell, did something, when they did not sit down but stood up , as seen at the Peace Talks in Accra, Ghana, locking the doors until the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, now part of the Law of Liberia, was realized. Women O Women. Do not sit down. Do something!

Women of Liberia are continuing to do something, as seen in the awareness raising that is motivating people to use non-violent actions to transform the prevailing unfair electoral system into the enduring fair electoral system. It s only through this transformation within the Rule of Law that persons with good records get elected to bring in the system of Justice, the indispensable ingredient for Peace and Progress in Liberia and in any other country.