…Ellen Tells Those Against Women’s Leadership
By Jimmey C. Fahngon
“Look, if anyone tells you that my time finish, and we will get at your…tell them it is too late for them…” these were the words of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to Liberian women at the International Women’s Day Colloquium held at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, near Monrovia.
The Liberian leader said though her tenure is about to elapse, women will continue to enjoy their basic rights irrespective of who succeeds her.
President Johnson-Sirleaf noted that Liberian women will continue to hold key positions in Liberia.
She said women of Liberia have come too far in their drive for gender equity and there is no way back.
President Johnson-Sirleaf said as she leaves office, she will do everything possible to ensure that more women get elected in the legislature.
The President told the gathering that under her administration, women have made lot of progress relative to empowerment, participation in leadership, among others.
She said unlike in the past, Liberian women can stand anywhere and speak on issues that affect them.
“When I traveled in the counties, “I feel proud when I see women speaking…they tell me Madam President thank you for giving us voice to speak…,” she added.
The President said her government will continue to create the environment where women will live free of violence.
She encouraged Liberian women to continue the progress because brighter days are ahead for them.
In remarks, Madam Maria Teresa Fernandes De La Vega, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidency Kingdom of Spain said she’s proud of the progress Liberian women have made since 2009 when the colloquium was first held in the country.
She said the participation of women in decisions that affect them cannot be overemphasized, because they are key in the development of any nation.
Madam Vega said women empowerment must be prioritized, because it is key to a peaceful society.
For her part, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of Rwanda Parliament said it is important for the government to focus on women empowerment considering the important role they play in nation building.
She said gender equality will not only benefit women, girls and boys, but can contribute human rights, promotion of democracy, among others.
“The role of women in society is unquestionable…women are the first educators of children; they are the pillars of family, community and country, as such, they must be empowered,” Speaker Mukabalisa said.
The two-day colloquium was held on the global theme: “Be Bold For Change,” while the national theme was “Women Bold in Change for a Better World.”