According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader made the statement on Tuesday, August 8, when she held an interactive engagement meeting with about 152 female candidates at the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Liberian leader said it was regrettable that in 2005, 13 women were elected to the National Legislature while in 2011 the number dropped to 8.
This, she said, was a setback and challenged women to work and take the necessary actions before the October 10 elections.
President Sirleaf noted that in order to correct the mistakes, female candidates should show their individual achievements in their various communities that will serve as testimonies towards their realizations.
She stressed the need for the amalgamation of forces if women must succeed and underscored the imperative to identify formidable female candidates in the various districts that would overwhelmingly become elected.
President Sirleaf indicated that the way forward should encompass the meeting of the minds, strategic planning, and working with the head of the Liberia Women Political Forum, Madam Ruth Caesar, and other women leaders towards winnable outcomes.
She observed that politics is not an easy game, stressing, “I did not come to the Presidency from the top to the button. You will have to climb step-by-step.”
She said women who have been working in their communities have sowed seeds already and are standing on solid ground and encouraged them to continue to work.
She pledged her continued commitment to working with the Liberian Women Political Forum and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to increase the number of women representation at the National Legislature.
She commended the female candidates for their commitment to moving Liberia forward.
Speaking earlier, Madam Ruth Caesar, who is head of the Liberian Women Political Forum, said since 2005, their struggle has always been an upheaval task.
Presenting the female candidates, acting Gender Minister Sieane Abdul-Baki said the women of Liberia are proud of President Sirleaf’s work and service to the nation for 12 consecutive years in peace and stability.
She praised the Liberian leader for her tenacity and fortitude exhibited over the years.
Acting Minister Abdul-Baki then presented an overall 152 female candidates, including one presidential and six vice presidential candidates, to President Sirleaf.