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“Stop Competing Against Each Other”
…Chief Justice Cautions Female Lawyers

By Grace Q. Bryant
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Sie-A- Nyene Yuoh, has urged female lawyers to reach out and pull other women up.
Speaking yesterday at the 1st Convention of AFELL under the theme, “Equal rights under the law: contemporary issues of violence affecting women and children” she said women bear a very substantial portion of the status quo in which they have been placed and therefore they should stop competing against each other.
“And this is because we are not unanimously supportive of each other but instead of acting as a united front in promoting the progress of our gender when one of us is aspiring for a certain office or position, we tend to undermine one another,” CJ Yuoh expressed.
She questioned lawyers, “How can we be against ourselves and expect our counterpart to support us? We cannot all be or remain at the same level therefore let us champion the cause of women,” she admonished.
“It is hard time that we provide moral financial and any positive form of support for one another; we who are privileged to be at the echelon of society must not only act as a beacon of hope and do not rid ourselves of petty jealousy hatred; it is now time to showcase the power of women working in concert,” the Chief Justice continued.
According to her, women constitute approximately 49.7% of the total population, therefore it is crucial that women’s participation and representation in all spheres of the public and private sector in Liberia, especially with the ever-increasing population to ensure adequate protection of the rights of women.
She noted that it is unclear as to the status of the amendment to Section 4.5 of the New Election Law, wherein is allegedly included a proposal that political parties have no less than 30% of either gender in their leadership on their candidate listing.
She said the ascendancy of women to these high offices in Liberia is a leap forward for the equal right of women to participate in politics and to hold public office; howbeit, the gap between genders is still wide and even greater for women in rural areas, indigenous women, women with disability and older women.
“We must resound the caveat that women will no longer remain in the backseat because their rights are at stake too. This caveat must be resounded by the unity we will exhibit as women in supporting each other,” she continued.
She emphasized that it is hard time that they collaborate and devise new strategies within the confines of the law to secure the rights.
She concluded,” while it is necessary that we continue to denounce all forms of violence in our society, not only those perpetrated against women and children but we need to become proactive by strategizing and working together to discourage and eliminate violence from our society.”
However, the president of the Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL), Siatta Scott- Johnson termed AFELL’s Convention as a laudable achievement.
According to her, for over 20 years, AFELL has been in vanguard of ensuring that the rights of women and girls are protected.
“Like AFELL, FeJAL finds itself in the same business of providing the space for women and girls to be heard while creating awareness on issues affecting women especially issues that violate the human rights and dignity of women,” she noted.
FeJAL also applauds the partnership that has existed between the two sisterly organizations and noted, “We look forward to more meaningful engagements in the interest of women and girls.”
“AFELL is a strong backbone for women’s right in Liberia and we cannot mention the name AFELL without mentioning Cllr. Gloria Scott, so we want to say to our sister AFELL that we are in this with you,” she said.
He added, “We know that this morning her home is well protected after she cried out for protection and she could not get, but now her home is being protected with police because a crime has been committed.”
She called on leaders, especially President George Weah to denounce all forms of violence against women and not be hypocritical about it.

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