Heritage (Monrovia)

Liberia: No Political Ambition - Laureate Gbowee Reiterates

Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee has again stated that she does not have interest in contesting the upcoming 2014 senatorial election, contrary to wide speculation in some quarters of Monrovia that she has political ambition. Laureate Gbowee along with fellow Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen were awarded the world most prestigious award in the Norwegian capital of Oslo in 2011.

The laureate Gbowee maintained that she is not contemplating in participating in the body politics of the country. She said right now she is focused on her contributions to the growth and development of the country following years of destruction. She made these comments on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 in Totota, Bong County during a visit there.

The visit to Totota is part of a six-day visit in the country by Madam Gbowee and fellow Nobel laureates Jody Williams (USA), Mairead Maguire (Chile) and Shirin Ebadi (UK). Their delegation is also made up of over ten (10) grass root women's rights activists, philanthropists and international journalists, amongst others.

The delegation visited Bong and Margibi counties as guest of the Women in Peace Building Network (WIPNET) and the Wealla Women for Peace in Margibi county. She said her resignation as head of Liberia Peace and Reconciliation Initiative should in no way be misconstrued by others that she is planning to contest the upcoming senatorial race.

Madam Gbowee was appointed as head of the Liberia Peace and Reconciliation Initiative but later resigned due to what she called "nepotism" and the lack of political will by the government to combat corruption.

She said her decision to quit a position that she "willingly accepted from the president" does not imply that she intent to run for a political office. She pointed out that her resignation was intended to allow her focus on women rights and analyze problems confronting them (women) ranging from rape, inequality, and gender based violence, amongst others.

The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner vowed to remain more vocal and unbending in protecting the rights of women and children across the country.

Meanwhile, the delegation has promised to work with the two groups in solving some of the global issues that affect women. Also speaking, the Coordinator of WIPNET, Madam Annie Nushown, lauded the Nobel Laureates for making such a "historic visit" to their organization.

Madam Nushown named girls empowerment, women capacity building and infrastructure development as a major constrain that is facing her organization. She used the occasion to call on the Government of Liberia (GOL) through President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to recognize the efforts of individuals and institutions contributing to the rebuilding process of the country, if Liberia is to move forward in terms of growth and sustainable development.

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