Liberia’s ruling Coalition for Democratic Change party has announced its candidates for the upcoming 8 December senatorial elections, without nominating a single female, which has drawn huge criticism from women’s rights activists in the country.
President George Weah has said that he is the ‘feminist-in-chief’ of the Republic of Liberia because of his government’s priority of women’s rights issues and their economic empowerment.
But activists here say the decision of the party runs contrary to any claims by the president and his government that they work to empower Liberian women.
Some 15 senate seats are up for grabs during the pending midterm elections, and there is currently only one woman among 29 male senators at the Liberian Senate.
MacDella Cooper, who contested the Presidency in 2017 as well as a senate by-election in Montserrado County describes the move as an affront to the women of Liberia.
Facilitating women in politics
“The fact that we have a President who is the feminist in Chief, he should always be cautious about women’s participation, the roles that women can play to help us lift our country,” she said in an interview with RFI in Monrovia.
She called on the President to make good his promise of being the feminist-in-chief of the country.
Cooper also criticizes the appointment of only three females by the president out of 19 major ministries, including Jeanine M. Cooper, head of the ministry of agriculture, Williamina Jallah, minister of health and social welfare, and Williametta Piso Saydee-Tarr, minister of gender, children and social protection.
She agrees with other activists who say Liberia is gradually becoming the worst place for women and girls due to the increase in sexual and gender-based violence and their exclusion from decision-making processes.