“Disingenuous to Women” -Senator Lawrence Decries Women Ostracism in Senate -As CPP Women Celebrate International Women Day
By: Anthony Q. Jiffan, Jr
At program commemorating the International Women Day by women of the four Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Grand Bassa County Senator and Liberty Party Political Leader Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence said it is disingenuous to about 50.3% of the national population of Liberia which constitutes women and girls to have a single woman represented at the House of Senate. The Liberty Party Iron-lady disagrees that women can do nothing for themselves except men to do it for them.
Senator Karnga-Lawrence therefor believes that women should be given opportunity to serve in key positions in the body politics of Liberia, and therefore called on political parties to feature female candidates and allow them the opportunity to play major roles in their local political institutions by creating the space that will allow them to ascend to national decision making tables.
Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence spoke yesterday at the Bethel Cathedral of Hope Ministries in Congo Town- Monrovia, where women of the four collaborating political polities (CPP), comprising of the Unity Party, Liberty Party, Alternative National Congress and All Liberian Party held a program in commemoration of the International Women Day anniversary under the theme “Equality for Women in Politics”.
The celebration brought together hundreds of women from diverse religious, tribal, political as well as social backgrounds who were enthusiastic to participate in the occasion which intend to proffer strategies, recommendations and call for support for women in national decision making processes in the country.
Delivering her Keynote address, Senator Karnga-Lawrence expressed her willingness to work with the Women of Liberia to produce more women political leaders as senators and representatives in the Liberian Legislature, adding that they have the capacity and deserve to be involved with making decisions that affect Liberia, its people and future.
“Women of Liberia, I am ready when you are ready to produce more women political leaders, senators and representatives. The women of Liberia have the capacity to be, we deserve to be involved with decisions that will affect our country, our children and our future” Sen. Lawrence asserted.
Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence, the first female Senator ever produced by Grand Bassa County, indicated that her political life and experience is a testimony to the ability of women coming together to champion their cause. She noted that the power and strength to change the Liberian society in crafting decisions affecting the country and its people and ensuring that women have the same rights as men across the country lie in the hands of women.
The strong female opposition figure said women are labelled with different kinds of names when they attempt to seek political offices, which she pointed out is a form of humiliation and discouragement with intent to divert the women’s attention and to further hold them down from participating into national decision making processes in the country, adding that only a few men who support women’s agenda called them encouraging names such as “our mother, my old ma” amongst others.
According to Senator Karnga-Lawrence, the women of Liberia are ready to be called names and even to be branded in any form, but they are ready to take the mantle of leadership this 2020 and onward, and said that they will not be deterred by any insult and humiliation from their male’s counterparts and even females.
The LP’s political leader, among other things, told the gathering that “the more you abuse us and called us names, the more you confirm our strength, because you know that your abuses are the consequences of women being consider a strong woman”.
“It is true that we are dominated by men. It is also true that they seek to intimidate us. It is true that we do not have money for political campaigns and would rather use what we have to educate our children and or care for our families. However, it is not true that men are better leaders than women”, the senator exclaimed
She further asserted, “We have waited for so long, we cannot wait any longer. Politics will not be cleaned or our voices heard, or the changes we seek in equality and access and rights given to us because we are silent, patient, and wait! The more women have power, the more our voices will be heard and the better our advocacies will become. The more women are elected, the stronger our ability to fight for causes of women!”
This is why, she said however nasty politics is, women must get get involved. “We must support each other to help ourselves make the changes we seek. One woman elected will not do it. No woman being elected is even worse. We must look to support an army of elected women if we truly desire to seek equality and improve access to justice against rape and sexual abuses, and rights to own property, and be equally educated as our brothers,” she added.
In her introductory remarks earlier, Atty. Charlyne M. Brumskine of the Liberty Party and Chairpersons of the CPP’s Planning Committee for the celebration of the International Women International anniversary said the women of the four collaborating political parties have gathered to commemorate the International Women Day as a way of recognizing the efforts women have made in sustaining democracy in the country.
Atty. Brumskine said the global theme for this year celebration of the International Women’s Day “I am generation equality”, realizes women’s rights’, and pointed out the slogan for this year International Women Day as “Each for Equal”, which according to her indicates that every woman is responsible for the way she thinks and her action, which mean that together they can break the stereotype.
Ms. Brumskine dispelled the thought and belief that women can only be used for particular purpose and in a particular area, and pointed out that they can play different roles as men and can also influence national decision making positively for the good of the country just as men do.
The young Liberian lawyer furthered that when she thought of the idea of bringing the CPP women together, she firstly reached out to Atty. Moriah Yeakula of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Ms. Telia Urey of All Liberian Party (ALP), Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence of Liberty Party (LP) and others and share the vision which they welcomed that resulted into the March 5, 2020 celebration.
Atty. Brumskine then called on women to take to their various communities’ messages that will gather supports for women and urged them to take the courage and get involve with ventures that will promote women leadership in Liberia.
In separate remarks, Cllr. Kuku Dorbor of Liberty Party, Ms. Telia Urey of All Liberian Party, Amb. Daintowon Domah Pay-Bayee of Alternative National Congress and Mrs. Cornelia Kruah-Togbah of Unity Party implored their fellow women as well as men to support women participation in national decision making processes.
The four strong women who experienced the political tension of Liberia accentuated that it is humiliating to women. They lauded the proponent of the idea of women unity and togetherness, and the organizers of the gathering which created a platform for women to explain the challenges they are faced with in seeking political offices in Liberia.
Meanwhile, former presidential candidate in the 2017 general elections and 2019 senatorial candidate in the Montserrado County bi-election MacDella Cooper challenged the four Collaborating Political Parties to feature seven female candidates in the pending 2020 midterm senatorial election.
She said there is an urgent need for women to ascend to elected positions in Liberia, no matter how much violence, humiliation and pain that may be inflicted upon women, they must rally the support of Liberians whether males or females to ensure that they are given opportunity to serve.