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Saturday, October 7, 2017


Outgoing Liberian leader, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, didn't only disappointed Liberian women but the entire Liberians, for failing to tell them the truth that the American government is responsible for the Ebola which was tested in her country, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.

Outgoing Liberian leader, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, didn't only disappointed Liberian women but the entire Liberians, for failing to tell them the truth that the American government is responsible for the Ebola which was tested in her country, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.

When Liberians go to the polls in October 2017, there will be a disproportionate number of men on the ballot papers. Only 163 of 1026 approved candidates – just 16% – in these presidential and legislative elections are women. This represents only a marginal increase since 2005 and 2011, when women accounted for 14% and 11% of candidates, respectively.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – who, 12 years ago, became the first woman to be elected head of state in any African country – has often been hailed as a feminist icon. But the poor representation of women in elections is as much her fault as it is a reflection of Liberia’s acutely patriarchal political system.

Her presidency has actually served the interests of a small, elite group of women and men in politics. It has upheld the country’s long-standing patriarchal norms. She has publicly distanced herself from the very movement that first got her elected, decrying feminism as “extremism”.

Sirleaf’s brand of femocracy – a term coined by Nigerian feminist scholar Amina Mama – has severely stifled women’s political participation.

Mama, whose research focused on African first ladies as democrats, makes an important distinction between feminism and femocracy. She argues that while feminism attempts to shatter the political glass ceiling, femocracy deliberately keeps it intact. This remains true even though, some decades on from her original writing, the continent can now boast of women presidents like Sirleaf and former Malawian head of state Joyce Banda.

Women in Liberian politics

Sirleaf has been conspicuously silent about bolstering women’s roles in politics, apart from a recent public statement in which she vowed to campaign actively for female candidates in these elections.

There have been some legislative efforts to involve more women in Liberia’s political leadership, with minimal to no input from Sirleaf.

A 2014 elections law amendment encouraged political parties to increase their representation of women in leadership roles. Yet Sirleaf’s own Unity Party– with only 10 women out of 58 candidates on its roster – ranks below smaller, less prominent parties in fronting female candidates this year. The United People’s Party, for instance, has 17 women candidates out of a total 64.

Elsewhere on the continent Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa have implemented gender equity bills specifically to propel women to high public office. In 2010 the Liberian women’s legislative caucus sponsored an act which mandated that women should occupy at least 30% of political party leadership. The act would also have set up a trust fund to finance women’s electoral campaigns.

Sirleaf did not actively support the proposed law and it was never ratified.

She has also failed women when it comes to her own high-level political appointments. Only four of her current 21 cabinet officials are women – and none of them occupy strategic ministries like defence, finance, education or public works.

Nepotism has been a problem on her watch, too: Sirleaf has appointed three of her sons to top government positions.

A few successes, but…

This is not to say that Sirleaf’s two terms in office have left women completely high and dry.

Her administration has built or renovated hundreds of markets across the country for thousands of female informal traders called “market women”.

She has also instituted policies to protect women and girls from male aggression. Under her rule, Liberia has implemented the most comprehensive anti-rape law in Africa. A fast-track special court has been established to deal specifically with gender-based violence.

Unfortunately, a decade after it was opened, the court remains only in the capital city, Monrovia. This makes it inaccessible to most Liberian women.

And the person who heads the court, Serena Garlawolu, has gone on record endorsing female genital mutilation. Garlawolu says the practice “is not a violation of anyone’s rights culturally”. Liberian women’s rights activists petitioned to criminalise the harmful procedure. But the proposed ban was omitted from a recently passed Domestic Violence Act.
Gender equity

Sirleaf’s record over the past 12 years demonstrates that gender equity is not magically achieved when a woman occupies a country’s highest political office. This is borne out by countless other examples, including Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May in England, Indira Gandhi in India, Dilma Rousseff in Brazil and Julia Gillard in Australia.

The international media and Sirleaf’s supporters continue to hoist her up as the matron of women’s rights in Africa. However, she does not deserve this title. The evidence of this will be glaringly obvious in the October election results.

This article was co-authored with Korto Reeves Williams, a Liberian feminist and a strategic civil society leader in Liberia and the sub-region. It is based on a piece that was originally published by Al Jazeera English.


The outgoing Liberian leader, Sirleaf Johnson, didn't only disappointed Liberian women but the entire Liberians, for failing to tell them the truth that the American government was responsible for the Ebola deadly virus which took many lives in her country, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.

It's very sad indeed, how African leadership is characterized by lack of respect from their European and American counterparts, yet they don't act effectively in anyway to refute the bad stories circulating in European and American newspapers about African leaders.

The late Steve Biko of South Africa, once said, "I would like to remind the black ministry and indeed all black people that God is not in the habit of coming down from heaven to solve people's problems on earth."

So if after slavery, Apartheid, Brutalities of colonialism, lynching, killing etc, Africans still think God will come down from heaven to help them, then African leaders are truly wasting their time. 

Your obedience and respect are taken as stupidity by the Western Europe and American leaders, giving them every opportunity to commit any crime they want on Africa soil. 

Africans need effective, tough and intelligent leaders like Kim Jong-Un to face the America squarely, else Africa will be stagnant just as it has been for decades without any significant achievements to gain international respect.

It's a big disgrace to the entire African nation for Kim Jong-Un, the North Korean leader, to accuse the American government of testing Ebola on African soil while African leaders were silent. Frankly speaking, that doesn't speak well of any African leadership.

Libya was one of the richest countries in the world, not even in Africa. America destroyed it and killed Gadaffi because they don't want the country to be successful self-sufficiently. Afriqiyah, the cheapest airline is no more available.

That's exactly what Europe and America want for Africans to buy their expensive plane tickets to their respective destinations from Europe and America. This is enough for African leaders to know that the American government preaches virtue and practices vice. 

America is an evil country, unfortunately, innocent Americans are now reaping the wages of the horrible sins their politicians committed in both inside and outside America.

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