Non-partisan as the stance of the In Profile Daily newspaper remains and fearing not to exhibit the least degree of biases, it is only fair that program held on June 27, 2012 in the Joint Chambers of the Legislature, been a great grand-father, be highlighted in reflecting the enviable roles of women in the current democratic dispensation that is fast reaching maturity for full harvest.
Whilst unquestionable that the participation of women in not only politics but various spheres of the national life may have begun prior to and during the Tubmanic era and thereafter in Liberia, when names such as Ms. Sussanah Lewis, Mrs. A. Doris Banks Henries, Mrs. Angie Randolph Brooks, Ms. Miatta Edith Sherman, Mame Glaypour, Mame Baker, the late Mrs. Ellen Sandemenie, the late Dr. Mary Antoinette Brown-Sherman, Dr. Florence Chenoweth, the late Aletha Johnson Francis, Ms. Ruth Caesar, the now-Mrs. Frances Johnson Allison, Ms. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the late Garmai Washington, the late Madam Kuluboh Behbehsayah, etc. became quite famous in many parts of Liberia, many will agree that it was just the beginning of the process, womanish as some may have become.
No longer the case, especially with the informative and educational processes serving as nucleus to the emerging trend being experienced within the emerging democracy, women are now strongly advocating their participatory stance in leadership in competition with the men who have for long done their jobs so well, eventhough with arms often used to stall governments.
Low as the participation in government by women may have been on conditionality and prevailing scenarios, they have however in recent years begun getting tougher in the absence of arms and ammunitions, generating the thrust from their undeniable participation in saving lives of their men during the past fratricidal crisis.
Having therefore had the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to have conducted a recent forum highly attended by members of the three branches of government, remarks by the Inducting Officer, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, one-time Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia and Senator of Maryland County, ought to be given paranomic review in reconciling the situation.
Initially dwelling on how the formation of Women in Politics evolved, with a meeting held in Accra, Ghana in 2005 in her room becoming circumstantial evidence from which has since arisen the participation of women into the governance processes of the nation, her vision that went far beyond the occupation of the Legislature sex-wise has today landed the feeble into becoming even much stronger.
Atypical of the spiraling trend that has continued to occur at the Legislature, having initially had 15 women out of 94 represented in the 52nd Session of the House, dwindling to 12 out of 104 in the current dispensation, the still-sparkling outlook of Cllr. Scott whose studiousness at law led her to have admonished attendants at supporting any woman into leadership through a support system may just have set the platform for re-examination by the men not on adversarial basis but one in which they would appreciate one another as true and not deceptive partners in the nation-building process.
"Have we sat to think what next after 2018 becoming concerns of mothers, the lovely-looking Cllr. Scott, dressed in red dress, did not mince words at calling for an alliance in collaborating with women leaders and organizations everywhere and begin strategizing, something that the men too at good at, in ensuring that national affairs are kept or preserved.
Astonished by her revelation that the only way they (women) can continue to remain in power is to acknowledge the fact that "The men have power and know how to use it," the election of Honorable Josephine Francis as Chairman, with the full presence of Honorable Mariama Fofana, Chair of the House Committee on Gender Development, may just have proven right against the backdrop of her long involvement with gender issues.
It was at all not surprising that during her inaugural statement, the Chairman, if not President-elect of the Women’s Legislative body, Mrs. Josephine Francis who has for the last 13 years remained in the country with the hope of becoming a legislator which she has become, having been seriously engaged in agricultural production with results, in spite having served as Superintendent of Montserrado County that is headquartered in Bentol City, "team work" with the women remaining pro-active in their activities evidently had to remain the loudly-encouraging signal for productivity.
Urging that women take full advantage of agricultural production as means to assisting the leadership in job creation now politically clamored for in the country and used as means to discrediting the enormous progress made by the democratic leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, having demonstrably and implicitly been involved thereat over the years, aside her political position, it was at all not mistaken to have first thanked the NDI for organizing and supporting the forum, since many still believe in "business as usual," something disallowed within a truly-practiced democratic setting.
The NDI, for most individuals currently occupying offices at the Legisture, has since laid the foundation to sustaining democracy in the country, as glaringly evidenced by its establishment of a library at the House, coupled with other technological devices that lead nation-builders to exploring various avenues in improving the legislative or legal system upon which rests the perpetuity of the Liberian nation.
Mind you, with the NDI-sponsored occasion graced by the presence of the President of Liberia, Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, neatly attired in an African attire and even looking much younger --- Sweet Sixteen --- did not waste words as understood in word economy by addressing herself to the theme: "Gender Responsive Budgeting and What Are The Challenges."
Simply remarks after listening to the installation officer, followed by the induction and inaugural statement by Hon. Josephine Francis, with Hon. Mariama Fofana as Chair of the Gender Development Committee of the lower House, it became quite fascinating to have heared from the Liberian leader of exception that that the empowerment of women is evolving, against the backdrop of having provided sustenance for the nation.
Access to land, credit, technology which she alleged to have been denied of women, accessibility to these with emphasis on education that allows women to be on par with the men, agriculture and the empowerment of women as an impacting program became suggestive, howbeit the 30 per cent participation that must be re-introduced at the Legislature, though with some calling for 50 per cent participation, with serious engagement of their male partners through door-to-doors.
Indeed with this columnist not having partial roles to play in the governance process of the Republic of Liberia, though still remaining a "Walkathon" as though a slavery for having had forefathers to have legitimately served the nation out of selfless and sacrificial services, abandonment of the process is likely with each individual simply residing in constituencies they feel more comfortable, as opposed to impositions that are continuously rendering them un-contributive to the national process that do not necessarily warrant self-created licenses.