By Precious D. Freeman
The Women Situation Room (WSR), has recently concluded a one-day meeting to identify issues that lead to electoral violence and the way forward to resolving them as Liberia prepares for another round of momentous elections in two years.
The meeting which was held under the theme ‘Women’s participation in Mediation and Conflict Resolution’ was aimed at highlighting the importance of women in conflict resolution and creating a safe space for women’s political participation.
In their findings, WSR pointed out that lack of civic education on the referendum, relocation of ballot boxes, the timeline for voting, walking for hours to get to a polling center were problems that created violence in the election.
The meeting was organized by the Angie Brooks International Center for Women’s Empowerment with support from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund in Monrovia.
According to a press statement, the WSR is demanding a report from the workshop held by NEC with support from UNDP on lessons learned from the December 8, 2020 senatorial election to be presented to the legal counsel of Senator Botoe Kanneh, Edith Gongloe –Weh and Grace Scotland to help the WSR to strategize for the next election.
The session was facilitated by eminent women of the WSR who have participated in other African countries, including Cyvette Gibson, former Paynesville City Mayor (to Nigeria) and Roseline K. Toweh, Executive Director of the Young women’s Association and founding member of the WSR (to Sierra Leone and Uganda).
For recommendations, WSR through its Establishment Coordinator, Cllr. Dr. Yvette Chesson Wureh, said women must engage in advocacy and disseminate about election violence that affects the society.
“Women need to engage and support women who are capable from their communities and counties and not any type of woman,” she stated.
“Women candidates need to start having conference with community dwellers and mobilization to get more women to support them no matter what. There should be more financial support for women programs geared towards the training of youths in conflicts and solutions,” she added.
Cllr. Chesson Wureh explained that women who are interested in participating in the upcoming election need to announce themselves at an earlier time and not wait until the last minute, because women need to support women during election and work with the civil society organization, faith-based organizations, or women’s groups to carry out education training in the country.
Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf commented on their feelings and promised to work along with them and according to her, women supporting each other is not new to them because they have always leaned on each other’s shoulders, adding,” For all of you this is not something new or strange; you have all been together, you have come together, you have supported each other, and you have cooperated with each other, ”she intimated.
Women Situation Room Holds Talks On Women’s Participation, Conflict Resolution
By Precious D. Freeman