Sister Aid Liberia, a non-governmental organization with funding support from UN Women, Irish Aid, the Swedish Embassy, the EU, the Peacebuilding Fund and UNDP has concluded a day long political leadership experience sharing session with women candidates in the pending October elections and Women Parliamentarians of Sierra Leone.
The activity is under the project titled “Strengthening women political participation in elections in Liberia”.
The project aimed at addressing the systematic exclusion of women through educational and training opportunities, issues around violence against women in elections and the negative mass community and culture barrier in politics and elections.
The session was meant for Liberian women politicians to acquire best strategies and method from Sierra Leonean women political leaders in winning the electoral seats in their various districts and counties. The experience sharing forum provided Sierra Leone Women Parliamentarians to share their challenges, methods of approach and success stories in the county’s just ended elections.
Amongst a host of other dedicated women-led organizations, medica Liberia, with representation by Atty. Yah V. Parwon – Country Director. Atty Parwon took the opportunity to speak directly to Liberian women, women political leaders and international partners, focusing on the critical importance of advancing gender equality across all societal space, particularly in the context of elections.
Atty. Parwon – Our guests of honor on the high table here from Sierra Leone, a warm welcome from medica Liberia. Kindly permit me to stand on existing protocol.
medica Liberia is a women’s rights organization supporting efforts to advance gender equality in Liberia.
I’m really happy to be here. This gathering is happening at a truly crucial time, aligning with the needs of the moment. The timing couldn’t be better, Liberia is gearing up for elections in October, and at the same time, fresh parliamentarians in Sierra Leone are embarking on their journey.
The year 2023, marked by elections in both our countries, offers a great opportunity for us to join forces in addressing the challenges that hinder women and marginalized groups in our region. As parliamentarians and candidates, you occupy, or are on your way to, some of the most influential decision-making positions within our nations. Your roles are integral, and the power of collective action can bring about meaningful change for our societies.
So, for me today is not just about experience sharing but to remind us all that we have a fresh opportunity to advance the status of women in our region through collective action.
medica Liberia in collaboration with our partner Power Liberia is committed to be part of initiatives that are actively working towards increasing women’s participation in politics.
I want to say a big thank you to our donor UN Women for helping us in this work. Their support is making a big difference, especially as we get closer to the elections in October.
I am happy to share the news of our collaboration with five other organizations, three of which are based in Sierra Leone. This joint effort has been made possible through the generous support of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. Together, we are forging a feminist alliance—committed to strengthening coordination and advocacy efforts that will advance the status of women within the Mano River Union Region.
Today’s event serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience that stems from collaboration and solidarity. We are interconnected by our shared experiences of conflict, inequities, and the pressing need to break the barriers that confine women within limited political decision-making spaces.
A big thanks to Sister Aid Liberia, Inc., and the Center for Security Studies and Development (CENSSAD) for putting this event together. These kinds of gatherings are great for sharing ideas, getting to know each other, and deciding to do things together.
Today we have heard how legal reforms, political will, advocacy, and commitment has contributed to increasing representation in the recent elections in Sierra Leone. This also shows that Liberian women, our allies are on the right path with this cause! We have advocated for legal reforms, and the number of Liberian women taking up the courage and seeking up political leadership have increased, so when they say where are the women, we can show them, they are here.
Now! Now! Now,
we need more political will and a strong message from our government will also improve the situation here.
Thanks to the amazing parliamentarians and candidates here, I want to say thank you. Your courage and dedication are inspiring all of us to make a real difference. Together, we’re making history and creating a better future for everyone.