The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberian Women Counter Gbowee

Liberian Women in leadership from more than 50 women organizations, representing all shades of political, religious, community and non-governmental organizations have described Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee's statement against President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as a disgrace to womanhood.

During a meeting held at the Gender Ministry in Monrovia on Friday, October 12, 2012, the women from diverse background also deemed as "ill- timed and most unfortunate", statement reported to have been made by Gbowee recently.

A press statement authorized by the women communication coordinator Tetee C. Karneh, said the women in their collective wisdom acknowledged that it was most unfortunate for Nobel Laureate Gbowee to have issued 'derogatory remarks' during the launch of her book in Paris, France "when in fact, women around the world have expressed pride that two women from Liberia emerged for the first time as Nobel laureates."

The statement said: "There were strong emotional expressions, calling for Ms Gbowee to be condemned, while a few women for caution [want] to allow room for dialogue upon her [Gbowee's] return to Liberia." Among many suggestions, the women requested that Leymah Gbowee be called to a meeting to discuss her recent utterances.

They insisted that Gbowee be called at the earliest, as they discuss a wide range of issues and approaches relative to how the women of Liberia can continue to show positive leadership to other women in Africa and the world at large.

The statement said the women were informed about the diverse calls of shock and indignation from women across Africa and the world at large upon hearing of Gbowee's rather "unfortunate remarks" about her fellow Nobel Laureate, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

In the midst of their dismay over Gbowee's comments against the Liberian leader, the women are however said to have called for a show of strong support and solidarity with the President on her return from Tokyo, Japan.

The statement said they encouraged one another to welcome the President as a woman leader of Africa and a proud Nobel laureate for peace, "a prize the world has come to appreciate along with her leadership style which has seen the image of Liberia change along with peace and stability."

They at the same time re-affirmed their abiding faith in the development vision and leadership of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and called on her not to allow negative tendencies to divide the women as they strive to maintain leadership.

Notwithstanding, the women have called for a standing committee to be established to meet on a monthly basis to provide leadership and continued guidance to the women of Liberia, rather than to only converge when there is crisis.

The women leadership thanked the Minister of Gender Madam Julia Cassell and the Minister of Labor Madam Vabah Gayflor for calling them together in a spirit of maturity and pride to womanhood.

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