Liberia: National Elections Commission, Political Parties Sign Protocol to Protect Women in Politics

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MONROVIA – The National Elections Commission (NEC) and Political Parties Executives have singed the Violence against Women in Elections and Politics, the (VAWIE/P) Protocol. The signing of the VAWIE/P Protocol, commits political parties to fully implement, and popularized the Protocol throughout the country. The Gender Section of NEC, in collaboration with UN Women organized the Buchanan City Hall program, and was witnessed by several elections stakeholders on Friday, 18 February 2022.

A release Wednesday from NEC said over twenty-six Executives of Political Parties and the Chairperson of the NEC, Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah signed the protocol for their respective Institutions. 

The NEC Chairperson thanked the Political Parties Representatives for forming a part of what, she described as an important endeavor. Madam Browne Lansanah informed the participants that the Commission will work with political parties and all relevant stakeholders to fully implement the VAWIE/P Protocol, in an effort to end Violence against Women in Elections and Politics in Liberia.

The NEC Chairperson also thanked all partners and stakeholders for their different roles and contributions that led to the signing of the Protocol. However, the NEC Boss wished that the signing of the VAWIE/P protocol will not be a waste, like other singed documents.

The overall objective of the present Protocol is to fill gaps identified in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) relating to the Inter Party Consultative Committee (IPCC) meeting and the Code of Conduct for Political Parties while promoting and advocating for increased women’s leadership and political participation.

The NEC, through its Gender Section with support from UN Women and funding from Canada, had initiated consultations with key Liberian electoral stakeholders to assess the prevalence of Violence against Women in Elections and Politics, identify its root causes and proposed instruments and guidelines to address Gender equality, women’s leadership and political participation for achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030 as they require important progress in the areas as well as building a peaceful society, inclusive institutions and accessible justice for all. This brought about the drafting of a protocol and its accompanying Action plan.

Several representatives in their remarks at the closing ceremony, from the Ministry of Gender, UNDP Elections Project, Embassy of Sweden, UN Women, the Chairperson of the Women Legislative Caucus, Hon. Rossana Shaack, WONGOSOL, CSOs, and the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC), spoke of the importance of the document and how to further encourage key actors to take the (VAWIE/P) Protocol serious.

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