1 May 2014

Liberia: NEC Wants Increased Women Participation in Electoral Process

The Director of the Gender Section at the National Elections Commission (NEC), Madam Abratha P. Doe, says attempts to ensure equal participation in electoral processes still remain a major challenge for the country's dominant population.

Speaking on Tuesday at a two-day seminar intended to spark an increase in the participation of women in electoral processes, Madam Doe said though women account for 51 percent of Liberia's population, they are yet to wake-up to calls from government and the international community for equal participation in national decision-making.

"This is why we have come to find out factors responsible for their low involvement in these processes," Madam Doe told the Liberia News Agency at the Gbarnga Administrative Building.

She said in its quest to ensure that gender and women issues are mainstreamed in both the internal and external workings of NEC; it elevated the gender information desk to a full section to enhance and increase women's participation in the electoral processes.

In remarks, the Coordinator of the Angie Brooks International Center, Madam Yvette Chesson-Wureh, called for the overwhelming participation of women in electoral processes, if they must protect the future of their children and the country.

Participants divided in groups of four identified several factors affecting the participation of women, including inducement, tribalism, lack of unity among women, and the perception by women that election is an issue for men, among many others.

Statistics and feedbacks from the Voter Roll Update recently conducted by the NEC show that 63 percent of the 104,710 persons registered were males, while 37 percent were females.

The seminar sponsored by USAID and IFES, brought together both male and female participants from Bong, Nimba, and Lofa Counties.

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