The Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor is seeking the support of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) for women in politics.
Speaking at the conference for ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians (ECOFEPA) and other women political and civil society leaders held in Monrovia, Dr. Taylor said that the stories of women being intimidated and victimized for seeking public offices have become a trend.
She said ECOWAS have a unique role to play in uplifting women participation in politics as they hope for a sub-regional framework for protecting women.
“We hope to see you propose an ECOWAS protocol stating norms for the protection for women in politics. We also want to see you establish effective monitoring systems and interventions to protect genuine cases of women politicians in danger” Taylor said.
According to Dr. Taylor “ECOWAS should be swift and robust in their response to threats and violence against women in politics.”
“With the assertiveness of ECOWAS, other state actors will follow suit and do what is necessary to protect women from these abuses. “
Speaking also on the need for female activeness in politics, Honourable fatoumata Njai, a Gambia delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament encouraged women to be focused and active in the political struggle.
“While we are tackling the presentation of women in leadership and to strengthen the female leadership pipeline, women also need to start taking charge of their careers” Njai said.
She added that it is time for men to embrace female leadership and empower the women around them.
“Though organizations have begun to take steps to support and treat women equally, women too need to take their own place in society. As women, we need to proactively step up, turn every experience into an opportunity and every opportunity into experience so as to maximize our access to leadership position and never ever doubt our abilities” she said.
Njai called for more women in the work place to be ready to meet and raise their quota. “We need to not only ask for a quota, we need to talk about our capabilities and increase our abilities,” she said.
Similarly, Senator Biodun Olujimi of Nigeria emphasized on the need for women across the region to get involved in the activities of other women.
Senator Olujimi said the time has come for women to start believing in themselves and in their capacity in a bid to play key role in the society.