By Stephen G. Fellajuah
The Aggie Brooks International Centre in partnership with ZOA has launched the Sustainable and Inclusive Peace in Liberia through Promoting Women Leadership and Participation in Civic and Political Life and their Strengthened Role in Conflict Resolution.
The project, which was launched Friday, Mayv28, 2021, at the Bella Casa hotel in Monrovia, will be implemented in Bong and Montserrado counties.
Speaking at the launch, the Establishment Coordinator at the Angie Brooks International Centre, Cllr. Dr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh said her institution and ZOA are working with women both in Bong and Montserrado counties in identifying issues that affect the emancipation of women into politics and leadership after the 2020 mid-term Special Senatorial Elections.
Taking cue from the 2020 elections, Cllr Chesson-Wureh said “The women situation room was designed after the 2020 elections. We are concerned about 2023. We need to start the dialogue soon, indicating that there is a need to break the barriers and limits before 2023.
She added that Aggie Brooks is having consultation and meeting with traditional leaders for them to recognize women’s inclusiveness into the political process, saying” We need to embrace one another. Liberia as a male dominated society. It is the women that make the men and will change the men.”
Cllr Chesson-Wureh thanked the United Nations PeaceBuilding Fund for recognizing the need for women to participate in not only the political processes but also in peace building.
Also speaking, the Manager of Program Quality, Marieen Spieker said that ZOA believes in the course of propagating women’s agenda for equality. She noted that her institution believes that women are strong leaders and should have a key voice in politics and national leadership.
Spieker said that ZOA is an institution that advocates for women from all backgrounds with different economic and social statuses, education and religion, rural and urban areas coming together to make Liberia a better society.
“Women are Peacemakers and mediate in Conflict and other vices affecting society. We also recognize that women have a key role to play in society”, she emphasized.
For his part, the Senior Program Manager Liberia Peacebuilding Office at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Mr. Christopher Fayia reckoned that ZOA and Angie Brooks are strong partners to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the PeaceBuilding Office.
He said, “Women are now coming out to show that they can deliver. Come 2023 Women and men will all be at one level to ensure that the country moves forward and has Sustainable peace.”
Giving the overview of the project, Mariama H.Konneh explained that the Sustainable and Inclusive Peace in Liberia through Promoting Women Leadership and Participation in Civic and Political Life and their Strengthened Role in Conflict Resolution is meant to provide intervention to the aftermath of December 2020 midterm Senatorial Elections, and the Constitutional Referendum. This, she said, will also provide interventions towards the 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections in Bong and Montserrado County.
She averred Konneh that it has been shown that there are large inter-generational tensions, political marginalization and the education of women and youth from formal decision-making processes in these counties.
“ZOA and ABIC together aim to promote women’s leadership and participation in civic and political life, and their Strengthened Role in conflict in prevention and resolution among political actors”, she accentuated.
She added that the project,, through the Women’s Situation Room (WSR) mechanism and basic Appreciative Inquiry (AI), seek to enhance Women’s capacity and agency within the political, civic and mediation spaces.
Konneh furthered that the project aligns with Liberia’s main policy document, the Pro poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, which prioritizes sustaining peace and aspires to enhance inclusiveness and gender equality.