Liberia: “Stereotyping Women Hinders Political Participation” 2023

Atty. Sondah Geepea Wilson of Nimba County says that women’s stereotyping, especially in leeward and semi-urban villages, prevents them from engaging in public life.

She stated societal perception, social forces, and religious conventions reinforce gender stereotyping and restrict women from leadership posts.

“Women are stigmatized because of their attires and their private lives,” Wilson told an audience in Sanniquellie on Friday, March 24, 2023. The daylong symposium focused on women’s leadership and responsibility.

“Sometimes, relatives advise women that politics is for males and they are prevented from speaking in public meetings owing to societal norms,” she stated.

Atty. Geepea Wilson is SEARCH, Inc.’s Executive Director in Sanniquellie City.

She is a female candidate for Nimba County District #2 in the 2019 general election.

She stated women are constantly sidelined, “even when we go for a loan at the savings club or bank, we will always be requested to accompany our spouse, something that cannot be done in the case of our male counterparts.”

Atty. Wilson advised the women to remain tough and combat gender stereotyping in all its forms.

We must struggle and participate in every decision-making process like men.

“Be part of decision making by playing a vital role in decision making, planning, and taking certain critical leadership positions,” she added.

Washington DC’s National Endowment for Democracy hosts the 2nd women’s leadership and accountability conference.

The local civil society group “Committees for Peace and Development Advocacy, Inc.” organizes the conference on “Advancing Women Participation in Education, Political Leader and Responsibility.”

This CSO has been teaching women from mine-affected areas how to talk to ArcelorMittal and the local authorities about their mining advantages.

The conference discussed budget transparency in accountability and advocacy, how women leaders can engage stakeholders, increasing women’s political participation through the 2023 National Election: how can women get elected, and women empowerment opportunities through the AML Community Development Fund and Livelihood program: how can women leaders access support at the commun

30 women from nearby ArcelorMittal mining communities.

COPDA Director Ted Brooks stated the project’s principal goal is to promote women’s advocacy for extractive industry governance and accountability.

“Our objective is to boost women’s representation to county level decision making and leadership,” Mr. Brooks added.

But, Atty. Wilson urged the ladies to register so they could participate in the next national decision-making on October 10, 2023, when people with voting cards will elect their leaders.

Don’t simply be a party member. She advised women to take on leadership roles to boost political engagement.

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