Making the Grade for Female Representation -Ex- President Sirleaf Hails Pres. Weah for Landmark Nominations

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In a patriarchal society where women are culturally and traditionally marginalized, while being grossly underrepresented in government and politics, the decision by President George M. Weah to select eight women out of 15 nominations has been hailed by many, including former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who says the president’s move is an encouraging progress towards gender equality in public service.

 

Taking to Twitter immediately following President Weah’s recent nomination, Madam Sirleaf ecstatically remarked:  “Fantastic to see that over half of President George Weah’s latest appointees are women, who will be holding positions across various ministries as well as in the Juvenile Court. Encouraging progress towards gender equality in public service.”

 

Other Liberians joined in the show of appreciation by commenting effusively on social media, heralding President Weah’s nominations as a positive step in the right direction.

 

“Congratulations to all the appointees. Thanks to His Excellency. Looking forward to seeing the appointment of more females in leadership positions,” said one elated Liberian.

 

“A great way to go Mr. President!” exclaimed another commenter.

 

Making the nominations on Thursday, October 1, 2020, marking the same date of his birthday, the Liberian leader forwarded for confirmation where necessary the names of Madam Mawine G. Diggs as Minister of Commerce and Debra Nebo, Deputy Minister for Small Business, Ministry of Commerce.

 

Other female nominations included Madam Comfort Sawyer, Deputy Minister for Administration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Madam Hannah Macaulay Karbo, Deputy Minister Manpower Development, Ministry of Labor; Madam Jane Maccullay, Director General of the    National Public Health Institute of Liberia; Madam Estelle Liberty-Karmoh, Director General of the Liberia Broadcasting System; Madam Binta Nah Jalloh, Deputy Director for VIP, National Security Agency; and Attorney Lucrezia Thomas Anderson, Judge, Juvenile Court, Montserrado County.

 

Pundits believe that President Weah is progressively inching towards full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 adopted October 31, 2000, which reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.

 

Resolution 1325 further urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts. It also calls on all parties to conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, in situations of armed conflict. The resolution provides a number of important operational mandates, with implications for Member States and the entities of the United Nations system.

 

It can be recalled, the Liberian legislature in September 2010 passed a new law creating parliamentary seats reserved for women, young people and people with disabilities, in a country where women are poorly represented in politics despite having a female leader at the time.

 

“The long-awaited passage of this bill is great news for women in Liberia,” said Mary Wandia, program manager at the rights group Equality Now, at the time. “Liberian women and girls have been failed for too long on several fronts”.

 

Despite the passage of the equal representation law, Liberian women are still backburnering when it comes to placement in key decision making positions. Madam Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence still remains the only female senator in the Liberian senate that comprises 29 males.

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