By Bill W. Cooper
A consortium of women has endorsed the re-election of President George M. Weah and Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor ahead of the November 14, presidential runoff.
The consortium comprises of Women Peace and Security; National Traditional Women Elders Council; Liberia Rural Women Structure; Liberia Marketing Association, and the Muslim Women Governing Council of Liberia.
Others include Liberia Women Mass Action/WIPNET; Friends of Madam Alice Baysah (Margibi County); 2023 Female Candidates Network, WONGOSOL, and the National Commission on Disabilities.
The move, according to the women, is a show of support for gender equality and female empowerment, including the increasing recognition of women’s rights and the importance of their voices in shaping the future of the nation.
They made the pronouncement Wednesday, November 1, 2023, during a launch gathering with VP Jewel Howard-Taylor and the women of Liberia, in support of the voice of a female remaining at the highest office in the country.
The daylong event, held at the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, under the theme: “I Stand with Her”, brought together thousands of Liberian women, with a commitment to ensuring that the Weah-Taylor ticket is voted for during the run-off.
The women, in separate remarks, cited the Coalition for Democratic Change’s (CDC) progressive agenda and transformative policies, including their fight to maintain a female at the second highest seat in the Executive, as key factors in their endorsement.
Among the driving forces behind the consortium’s endorsement is the recognition of the urgent need to address gender disparities in the country, amidst women’s countless hurdles in accessing opportunities, education, healthcare, and decision-making platforms.
According to them, their endorsement of the Weah-Taylor ticket aims to challenge these inequalities and create a more inclusive society that uplifts and amplifies the voices of women in all spheres.
It can be recalled that following the October 10, 2023 Presidential election, neither the CDC nor the UP secured an outright majority (50 percent plus one) of the total votes cast, resulting in a run-off election to determine the country’s next leader, as enshrined in the Constitution.
With the National Elections Commission (NEC) setting Tuesday, November 14, 2023 as the date for the run-off and the official declaration for campaign activities, the stakes are high, as the election will further determine Liberia’s trajectory for the next six years.
The women added that their endorsement of the Weah-Taylor ticket further reflects a broader shift in societal attitudes towards gender representation and leadership, encouraging others to follow suit, fostering an environment of collaboration and equity.
Receiving the endorsement, Vice president Jewel Howard-Taylor thanked the women for the endorsement, putting forth a comprehensive platform that focuses on issues such as women’s rights, education, healthcare, and economic development.
According to her, when re-elected, she will ensure the push for the Weah-led administration to enact legislative reforms to protect and promote women’s rights aligns closely with the aspirations of all women across Liberia.
Beyond advocating for gender equality, Madam Howard-Taylor also vowed to work with the President to address and tackle other pressing issues affecting the nation, which include education reform, healthcare delivery, and road infrastructure among others.