The National Elections Commission has increased efforts to achieve the minimum requirement of 30% female representation on the leadership and legislative seats of all registered political parties as the date for the presidential and legislative elections approaches.
In one of these initiatives, the NEC brought together the chairmen and secretaries general of all Monrovia-based political parties for a two-day discussion on how to prevent and address political and electoral violence against women.
NEC Commissioner Oversight on Gender Josephine Kou Gaye urged all political parties to assist women in winning leadership and parliamentary positions in the 2023 presidential and legislative elections in her speech at the event opening the debate. She claims that since the 2015 elections, fewer women have had leadership positions in political parties and legislative positions, such as those in the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate.
The NEC Commissioner revealed that the minimum requirement of 30% female representation in political party leadership does not imply that the proportion of women running for office and holding office must be limited to that number. She emphasized the necessity for political parties to support women in order for them to be elected to positions of leadership and party tickets, particularly in parliamentary positions, in the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
Commissioner Kou-Gaye expressed her dissatisfaction with the low percentage of women in high leadership roles in political parties. In order for women to run for office as chairpersons and legislators in the 2023 presidential and legislative elections, she claimed that political parties must promote female participation rates of at least 70 percent.
Symphorosa Oundo, a UNDP gender specialist who also spoke, gave the leaders of the political parties and the National Elections Commission assurances of the UNDP’s complete assistance in boosting female participation in political activities in the nation.
She asserts that when women have executive or legislative positions, they prioritize the advantages for women, children, and communities in the fields of health and education. She clarified that when it comes to leadership, women do not always win out over males; rather, both men and women must participate in processes, politics, and decision-making in society.
The UNDP gender specialist expressed hope that parliamentarians would pass the 30% female threshold for political party registration and that the president would sign it into law. The United Nations Development Program, UN Women, the UN Peace Building Office, Sweden Sverige, and Irish Aid sponsored the discussion, which had the title “Promoting Inclusive and Safe Environment for the Participation of Women in Elections and Politics.”
Reported by: Augustine Octavius