Letter From A Feminist: Let’s All of Us Frown on Negativity Against Women

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Happy New Year.

The last year was momentous; many things happened.

Well, you know in my case I am more interested in what happened for 49% of the population according to the 2008 Census. Not that the other 51% are not important, but this 49% normally pays so much attention to the 51% that they have no time left for themselves.

All hail the women!

The #Weareunprotected Campaign moved into its second year; #ThursdayinBlack Campaign gathered momentum and speed and for the first time in our nation’s history, the political leadership acknowledged the problem of violence against women in elections. The voices of ordinary women were too loud to be ignored. I am more than happy to be working with other women on these fronts.

I want to acknowledge the president’s commitments on that day. I wonder who all listened to him? Who were those genuinely interested? Note, we are still awaiting the detail police report.

I know I am one. For when the President who doubles as leaders of his political party speaks in such strong terms, steps out of his office to meet random citizens who have a burning concern, we are inclined to believe that he acted out of a deep conviction and his values are supposedly aligned and his followers will take a cue. Alas, that seems not to be the case.

I listened to recordings reported to be of the CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu in which he categorically accused the President of the Republic of Liberia of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. As uncomfortable as that may be, it cannot be swept under the carpet. For a country where sexual predators are unlikely to be punished for their crimes, it is more than scary to have one allegedly sitting in the highest seat of power in the land. It is not a joke. It cannot be business as usual. It must not be allowed to just go away. Whether or not it is the CDC Chairman’s first hand account of acts he has witnessed as revealed on the tape, the veracity of the claims must be ascertained and someone, no matter where they sit, must take responsibility. “Morlu spoke out of frustration”. Is not an acceptable response. Female appointees have been tarnished as sitting in professionally unmerited seats, we deserve a more sincere and conscious response. His Excellency must not allow this slide! You are accused.

We entered the New Year with the regular refrain of the misogynists. How in the world do you bring yourself to the level of attacking an educated, gainfully employed and hardworking woman for the politics of her husband? Let’s say she was a stay at home wife, does she have access to the national kitty? Does she have access to and control over state resources? Or as always, do you have to make women your battlefields, because you think they are easy targets? Henry Costa can do better. Hold public officials accountable and for the worth of it, leave their wives, and females’ affiliates out of your charade. Until it can be established substantially and through legal means that women aided and abetted their spouse (s) to pocket public funds, they should not be the subject of your gossip peddled as facts.

“As a national leader, I am convinced that one of the most effective strategies to correct these situations is to take affirmative action in the interest of women and girls, such that they enjoy greater participation in national leadership. This is why, for example, when the National Election Commission (NEC) required each political party a minimum of 30% of women candidature in parliamentary election, I raised the bar for my party to 50%; and I am proud to inform you that all of those women who had the courage to run were all successful.

– Pres. George Weah during the European Development Days in Brussels in 2018

And sadly, we woke up yesterday to a communication from her Excellency, the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, to the Pro Temp of the Liberian senate lamenting the way her office has been crippled. I am tempted to doubt it. Our President who during the European Development Days in Brussels in 2018 said:

“As a national leader, I am convinced that one of the most effective strategies to correct these situations is to take affirmative action in the interest of women and girls, such that they enjoy greater participation in national leadership. This is why, for example, when the National Election Commission (NEC) required each political party a minimum of 30% of women candidature in parliamentary election, I raised the bar for my party to 50%; and I am proud to inform you that all of those women who had the courage to run were all successful.”

cannot be the same head of the executive that with a Vice President that is writing to groan in agony over what will ordinarily be a clear case of mistreatment of the only woman VP our country has ever had since independence.

In her letter, the VP writes:

 “Honorable President Pro-Tempore and Members of the Liberian Senate, I am constrained to write this letter to inform you of the continuing and seemingly intentional circumstances surrounding financial obligations due in support of my duties as Vice President of the Republic and President of the Liberian Senate. Last year, I had the privilege to meet with members of the Liberian Senate to inform them of the difficulties I was undergoing with some members of the Executive Branch; as it related to budgetary support for my office and the need for their intervention.”

We are very hopeful for 2020 and that hope is interpreted as this year and the forthcoming Senatorial Mid-Term elections, will be of celebrations for women and that these ugly events that have opened the year, were like the bad blood that comes out of the ‘boil’ for the healing to take place.

Onwards to a safer society and the equal participation of women and men in decision making in our country.

May the New Year bring each of us closer to our aspirations !

Yours truly,

Facia Boyenoh Harris,

#Woman| #Feminist| #Leader

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