By. Bennie Johnson

On several occasions during election seasons in Liberia, there is violence that causes destruction and death affecting women, particularly among young people who are accused of being perpetrators of the violence. A week-long mediation session, which culminated on Friday, May 6, 2022, was conducted by the Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) in the context of this situation. The conference addressed a number of important themes, including the role of youth and women, the participation of traditional leaders in elections, and the impact of drugs on society.

A gathering of hundreds of people attended the closing ceremony for the national stakeholders meeting, which brought together chiefs, commissioners, mayors, political parties, women and youth leaders from civil society and communities from Bong and Montserrado counties under the auspices of the flagship program of “The Women Situation Room” (WSR), which was initiated by the Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) and is dedicated to achieving long-term peace in Liberia and elsewhere.

The initiative, which was hosted at the Cecil Dennis Auditorium at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia and funded by the United Nations Peacebuilding Funds, was undertaken under the theme “sustainable and inclusive peace in Liberia through promoting women’s leadership and participation in civic and political life, as well as their strengthened role in conflict resolution.” It was carried out in partnership with ZOA-Liberia.

Among the topics covered by a panel of experts at the stakeholder’s conference were: a presentation of the WSR mechanism starring at looming violence (short video); a response mechanism for violence prevention before, during, and after the 2023 election; the role of chief officers and commissioners; the role of mayors; the promotion of women and youth participation in the 2023 elections; recommendations for moving forward; and a special statement from the government.

The vast majority of the women who spoke expressed concern about the registration cost for candidates at the National Elections Commission, describing it as a method of discouraging them from entering the political arena. The women went on to say that women who rise to positions of authority in society should work to combat illicit substances, which they believe are harming the country’s younger population.

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