• As UNPBF commits to support Women’s Political Participation

By. G. Bennie Bravo Johnson

The United Nation Peacebuilding Fund (UNPBF) has reaffirmed its support for the Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) to promote women’s empowerment and political participation and inclusiveness, as well as maintain a peaceful electoral environment. 

Speaking on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, at the third day of women’s empowerment dialogue, a representative of the United Nations Peace Building Funds, Mr. John R. Dennis, who graced the occasion, revealed the delight the UNPBF has in working closely with the Angie Brooks Centre in ensuring political emancipation for women is gained. He pledged UNPBF’s unflinching support in seeing the workings of the ABIC come to reality, as the number of women in attendance at the forum was a manifestation.

“The kind of representation I see here today speaks volumes.” We encourage all of you to be strong and face the men; financial problems are the only challenge that you have right now, but we are doing our part to see how best we can support you. “

He at the same time revealed that the UNPBF in October gave UN Women and UNDP 2 million dollars meant for the promotion of women’s political participation. Therefore, he urged the women to work with UN Women in gathering support. 

Mr. Dennis further disclosed that the UNPBF is also working on a 3 million project meant to ensure a peaceful electoral environment. We are also working on a 3 million project for a peaceful electoral environment, and so we just want to see this country sustain peace, and we can only do that through your efforts.

Meanwhile, the Wednesday, May 4, 2022 dialogue was a continuation of a weeklong discussion meant for women’s empowerment and is a partial fulfillment of the project “sustainable and inclusive peace in Liberia through promoting women’s leadership and participation in civic and political life and their strengthened role in conflict resolution,” which is meant to champion the cause of emancipation for women’s political participation come 2023.

It was organized as a one-day mediation dialogue with women leaders from political parties, civil society organizations, and communities under the flagship program of the Women’s Situation Room, and was meant to: understand the trajectory of women’s political participation; break the barriers and stereotypes against women’s political participation; and increase women’s participation in the upcoming 2023 general elections.

It can be recalled that the weeklong dialogue that began Monday, May 2, 2022, began with traditional leaders from Bong County and Montserrado to find common ground between traditional practices and election processes during election time to promote more women’s participation in elections. as well as the second day with the commissioners and mayors.

Speaking during the dialogue with the female political leaders from the various political parties that were in attendance, the establishment coordinator of the Angie Brooks International Centre, Dr. Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh, thanked the UNPBF for the continuous support and urged the women to fight to be at the table of decision making and not be held to the position of women-wing.

“When the men ask you to serve as the women’s wing in their political parties, tell them we do not belong to the wing. We are head and heart. We are part of the body. So we are going to establish the men’s wing so the men can be there. “

Cllr. Cheeson-wureh continued by giving a historical analysis of Liberian women’s political participation that has contributed positively to the development of the nation as well as their positive impact on internal society. She said the first female acting president in the world, Madam Edith Harris, in the 1960s, acted in the stead of President Tubman; the first woman to preside over the UN general assembly, Angie Brooks Randell; Ruth Sando-Perry, the first appointed woman president; and the first elected woman president in Africa, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, amongst others.

However, the women in attendance at the dialogue highlighted the multiplication of female candidates in a single district as that would share their support and the high increase in the registration fee at the National Elections Commission (NEC) as some of the challenges to getting to the legislature. The women, nevertheless, committed to a united force to achieve their objectives. 

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