By: Jerromie S. Walters
Liberia-WTVNEWS: River Cess County Dirtrict #1 Representative, Rosana G. D. H Schaack has urged females aspiring to partake in the 2023 general elections to consider her political story as an experience tool, as they venture in the political sphere of Liberia.
The River Cess Dirtrict #1 Representative spoke on March 16, 2022, while delivering a special message at the Women Legislative Caucus Of Liberia International Women Month Celebration under the theme: Women on the journey”.
With Support from UN Women, the Women Legislative Caucus (WLCL) held a one day celebration of past and present women Lawmakers, acknowledging the strides made over the period. Since 1953, a total of fifty two (52) women have served the Legislature up to present.
According to the Chairperson of the Women Legislative Caucus, Hon. Schaack her condition as a disable person was frequently used as a breeding ground for insults against her candidacy in 2017 but that did not stop her win.
“I was once told that the Capitol Building is not for disabled people like me, so the first day I went to work I checked all the steps and I promise that I will always climb those steps till I’m exhausted”, she noted.
She assured potential aspirants of her influence in giving the District to another female after her term, maintaining that it has now been secured for women only. “And even if I’m tired, it will not be given to any man, River Cess District #1 is now for women and we will try to ensure that it works”, she added.
At the same time, the Lawmaker stressed the need to maintain seats women are currently occupying in 2023, and ensure efforts in increasing them, thereby urging unity among women in order to push the goal for women full participation in national politics.
She urged women to avoid being contradictory in delivering their prospects or messages to the voters, adding that an understandable message as to what the voters should expect upon entrusting them with the position.
In its memorializing and showcasing the legacy of female Lawmakers, through the lighting of candles, the Women Legislative Caucus one day program brought together Current women legislators, heads of women groups, COPPWIL as well as women aspiring for elective positions.
However, Gender Minister Williametta E. Pisso Sayde-Tarr called on women void of political party, to remain supportive to those with political interest, in ensuring that their 30 percent goal at the level of the legislature is achieved.
She assured her commitment, and further urged females aspirants to closely work with the Coalition of Political Parties Women in Liberia (COPPWIL) as she believes it’s a major influential in women ascendancy to the legislature.
As President George Weah reaffirmed his commitment to women participation in national politics, the Gender Minister also highlighted the significance of women being more proactive in increasing the number of female Lawmakers at the legislature.
For her part, Rural Women Head Madam Martha Kanrga encouraged current Lawmakers to adequately exercise their duties at their respective levels, as they are now being considered as examples which the public will possibly use to have other female candidates voted.
She encouraged women groups, and other NGOs and CSOs that are flagging women issues, to remain relentless and supportive as they were to current Gbarpolu County Senator Gbotoe Kanneh, and Bomi Cunty District #1 Representative Finda Gborie Lansanah.
The Women Legislative Caucus was firmed in 2006 by female Legislators of both Houses of the 52nd National Legislature of Liberia irrespective of political affiliation, individual and political orientation.
Since 1943, women have taken elected positions especially in the National Legislature.
From 1943-1971, the William V. S. Tubman administration produced total of
Five (5) female Lawmakers.
The William R. Tolbert administration which lasted from 1971-1980 also produced a total of five (5) female Lawmakers, while the Samuel K. Doe era, from 1986-1990 produced
Six (6) female Lawmakers.
Accordingly, the Charles G. Taylor administration which lasted from 1997-2003 produced seven (7) female Lawmakers, while the Interim period produced two (2) female Lawmakers and the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, administration from,2005-2017 produced about sixteen (16) female Lawmakers.
Currently, there are 11 female Lawmakers within the George Weah administration, whole more efforts are being applied by women groups, NGOs, CSOs and women across Liberia, in insuring a speedy increase.
The WLCL also partner, collaborate, and network with women groups and the donor community for broader gender advocacy and mainstreaming in national politics, plans and programs, in order to facilitate empowerment of Liberian women.