Gbarpolu County: Rural Women Crave More Women Voices in Liberia’s Legislature

 

Gbarpolu County – Women in Gbarpolu County are calling on female voters across the county to vote women candidates to ensure “total women leadership” representing the county.

The call from the rural-based women group comes less than seven days to the October 10 polls.

“Right now we want total women lawmakers in this county,” said Madam Bendu Jah, president of the rural women in the county.

Madam Jah was speaking to a LocalVoicesLiberia reporter during a field awareness event in Henry Town, Bopolu district on October 1 when over 75 women were in attendance.

“The men will not hear us if we are not plenty in the house. And they have forgotten to know that we are the caretaker of the home,” she said.

“Women, let us vote for women 100% on October 10 if we want better health care, if we want better roads if we want women empowerment. I am begging you and again if we want women talking for women and making major decision in mama Liberia, our country let us wake up and vote good women leadership in this 2017 election.”

Gbapolu County has two female representatives in the outgoing lower house.

For her part, Mamai Korpo, president of the Disabled Union in the county said: “our eyes are opened to leadership and governance, so let us vote each other as leaders”.

She argued that women are more knowledgeable about women issues than their male counterparts.

“We will be able to help ourselves more than the men; we will not continue to be under these men. We must continue to speak out since Ma Ellen (President Sirleaf) has opened our eyes to politics in this country,” Korpo said.

However, some of the participants said they would vote for women with good past record and are capable of leading.

Said Yassah Johnson: “We will not just vote because we want to vote women, but we will vote for women who have been working for us before.”

“Yes, our votes for women leadership is [are] for good women, I mean good caretakers, a true representation of our communities,” added Janga Tokpa of Geleta Town.

There are six women representative candidates and 27 male candidates contesting the three electoral seats of the county.

In Electoral District one, three females are competing against seven male candidates; in electoral district two, there’s one female candidate amongst a total of 15, while in electoral district three two female candidates are competing against six male contenders.

Currently, out of 30 members of the Liberian Senate, there are three females representing 10 percent of women’s representation at the upper house.

The outgoing 53rd legislature has nine women representatives out of 73, which represents 12.32% of women at the lower house.

Liberia is ranked 146th out of 193 countries based on the number of female members in the national legislatures, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and UN women fact sheet released December 2015.

 Report By: Henry Gboluma, Jr.