MONROVIA – Registered Political Parties under the auspices of the Inter-Parties Consultative Committee (IPCC), and in collaboration with the National Elections Commission (NEC) reached the agreement in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County over the weekend following a two-day gathering to draft and validate a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the implementation of a minimum 30 percent gender quota for candidate listing for the 2023 electoral process.
Signed on May 6, the parties agreed to sign a new agreement in support of the 30 percent gender quota to increase women’s political representation in the 2023 elections following a two-day meeting on May 5-6, 2023. The meeting was conducted by the NEC, with support from the UN Women Liberia, Liberia, Embassy and Irish Aid.
A NEC Press release says the NEC Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah, Co-Chairperson Cllr. Teplah Reeves and the entire Board of Commissioners led the two-day discussions in the port city.
In her opening remarks on Friday, the NEC Chairperson admonished party officials in attendance to take seriously the full and increased participation of women in the upcoming elections and beyond.
Madam Lansanah said for too long the issue of full participation of women in the Country’s body politics remains in the rear. She called on the parties to place a premier on the issue, beginning with the pending 2023 elections.
Amongst the seven counts deliberated and concluded in Buchanan says “all registered parties are to produce and adopt a gender policy reflective of the relevant legal instruments supporting gender balance and increase women participation in representative politics towards the 2023 elections”.
They also agreed “to ensure to have not less than 30 percent of either gender on the list of candidates submitted to the NEC during the candidate nomination period of the 2023 elections”.
Additionally, the Parties agreed to “create the enabling environment for active and increased political participation of female aspirants in political activities for the 2023 elections”. Such include political parties taking special measures for resource mobilization for women contestants.
The two-day gathering, under the theme “increasing women political participation in elections through the full implementation of section 4.5 (a&b) of the New Elections Law of 1986” further admonishes “Parties to collaborate with Partners to organize regular training for women on campaign strategies and leadership skills”. It also stresses the need for “building strong gender solidarity in the rank and file of men and women in political parties” among others.
At the close of the deliberations, it was agreed that the signing of the MoU takes place this 2nd week of May in Monrovia between the chairpersons, secretary generals, or a designated official of registered political parties and the NEC.
The Women Legislative Caucus, Women NGO Secretariat, and the Coalition of Political Parties Women in Liberia attended the gathering and in separate remarks pledged their support to the process of increasing women’s participation in the pending elections, the release signed by NEC’s Director of Communication Henry Boyd Flomo concluded.