The increasing advocacy for women in leadership across the world has been boosted a step further, as the just concluded meeting of the ECOWAS Parliament in Monrovia has approved the ratification of 30% female representation in Parliamentary delegation
Addressing the ECOWAS Parliament Joint Delocalised Committees Meeting on Social Affairs, Gender, Women empowerment, Education, Science, Culture and Health, the speaker of the regional legislature, Sidie M. Tunis, said ECOWAS has taken another important step towards the enhancement of the participation of women in the parliamentary process of member countries by advocating for at least 30% representation.
The Speaker who noted that women are still being attacked and abused in politics, asserted that ECOWAS Parliament will now make it compulsory for every country to have the 30% female representation to the ECOWAS Parliament.
“If you look at the statistics, let say female participation in politics, it has only moved from about 11% to about 23% for the last twenty-five years, which is abysmal. If we are talking about gender parity and women empowerment, we should be doing more than that, but from eleven to twenty percent, it means for the next 25 years, we would not even get to 50%”, the speaker stated.
Sirleaf Johnson, former President of Liberia, commended the creativity of Tunis on the inclusion of women across all sectors. She said, “I am pleased to see many women in this gathering and that brings me to say that except for Senegal, our countries have not done well in politics and we need to do more.”
She further called on the Speaker to be a champion by ensuring that “as we go into elections in all of our countries, we have a minimum of 30% representation of women”.
Also, the first lady of Liberia, Amb. Clar Weah, called on delegates to consider women empowerment in general and not to limit deliberation on a certain class of people.
She said, “across every sector and in every corner of our region, we are here to talk about taking serious steps to ensure that every woman and every female in our region has access to all that she needs to ensure that she fulfills her potential.”