Not that there are droves of women standing in line seeking the presidency; though there are many women than ever seeking other political offices.
In any case, the mere fact that a woman who rode on similar sentiments can now be construed as discouraging any such endeavor, we find as being hypocritical and very cold-hearted, to say the least.
The rise of Liberian women in politics may still be minuscule but the gains so far cannot be over emphasized, which is why the President’s statement has garnered such a stir, especially amongst women.
Thousands of Liberian women have considered the President’s statement as a gigantic and hypocritical sellout, a big sell-out from a person who they view as a protector and savior for that matter.
Yet; the very sad part about this entire episode is that the President herself rose to power on the very shoulders of women’s power or the very women she is now admonishing to stay out of politics.
For this particular president, a female president at that, who rose to prominence largely on the shoulders of fellow women, to now be promoting the angle that women should more or less, “stay out of politics” we see as a big blow to women.
Yet, it must be said that since Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became Africa and Liberia’s first female President, the percentage of women in politics have risen dramatically by about 35%.
If this is true, shouldn’t our President be the one espousing for more female representation in politics, since in fact she is the one who broke the glass ceiling in a country ruled by men for more than a century?
For us here, we sincerely feel the President’s statement at the recent Women’s Manifesto undercuts the level of achievements women have undergone under her administration, and further reinforces the belief that Madam President is not a true champion of the rights of a group of people who, for centuries, were seen only as chattels.
If the women of Liberia decide to take the high road in seeking the presidency in 2017, President Sirleaf should not be the one to tell them “bug off”.