NAYMOTE Launches National Women Campaign Team

By: Mafanta Kromah

Participants

The National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections (NAYMOTE)-Partner for Democratic Development on April 11, 2017 launched a team called the National Women Campaign Team (NWCT) along with contribution of L$500,000 to support the Coalition of Political Parties women in Liberia (CPPWL).

The donation will assist the CPPWL lead a national campaign to get women on party tickets and conduct citizens engagement event and host mock campaign events across 10 electoral districts. The announcement was made during the opening session of the five-day women leadership and political participation at the Development Education Network Liberia, Gbarnga, Bong County.

The launching and contribution was made during the opening of the 100 women aspirants and campaign managers from the 73 electoral districts training, held at the Development Education Network Liberia (DEN-L) Compound, based in Gbarnga, Bong County.

The overall goal of the training was to increase women’s representation in the legislature and empower them to participate in competitive politics and governance in Liberia.

According to the Executive Director of NAYMOTE, Eddie Jarwolo, for so long men have ruled Liberia and they have not been able to transform the health, education, agriculture and other important sectors of the country, which has resulted to citizens lack of trust in government due to underdevelopment of the country.

He noted that NAYMOTE is committed in working with the women before, during and after elections with whatever support they have, stressing women are the ones that do the unfinished work.

Jarwolo urged women to tell their stories, and run based on their track records, issues and their messages should be short, simple and clear to the point where their platforms will be understood by electorates.

On her part, the Acting President of the Coalition of Political Party Women in Liberia (COPPWIL), Georgia Gaga affirmed that they are happy being recognized as the face of Liberian women politically.

 

She appreciated the partnership from NAYMOTE and support from UNMIL to ensure that women succeed in electing more women in the legislature. She said COPPWIL will visit all 73 electoral districts as well as political parties leaders to ensure they integrate women on their candidates listings.

“It is not about me, it is about Liberia so let us forget our differences and network as one because that is the only way we can make it possible,'” she stressed.

At the same time, the Charge d’Affaires at the Embassy of the United States of America, Samuel Watson encouraged women to use network and alliances with emphasis on a Liberia proverb about fetching water. “It says you can lift a full bucket to your knee alone, but you need someone else to help lift it to your head. it is with the support of those around us with shared interests that we achieve our goals.”

Amb. Watson explained there are two critical elements to the advancement of women, which he said, women need to build a strong network to raise many voices  to support equality and they also need to develop allies, including men who want to support women in their struggle for equality, with the inclusion of boys making sure they are mature with more balance view of gender equality.

He said they should carry message that will make the election important to all Liberians, whether, about price of rice, exchange of rate, or school fees, “It should be issues that concern women that are national issues that affect everyone. Keep up the aspiration and essential work you are doing, build coalition, remember your issues are shared issues, your voices are more powerful when you speak together and you can build a strong, peaceful and prosperous future for Liberia for everyone,” he indicated.

Meanwhile, the Co-Chair of the Liberia National Election Commission, Sarah Toe stressed the need for women to do something together with their male counterpart to enter the house of legislature so as to help improve the life of all Liberians including people with disabilities and also passing good law in the interest of the nation.

She indicated that women are tasked with the challenge to help Liberia compete with other countries in the world.