Home Politics Weah’s CDC fails to uphold 40% quota promise for women in party elections

Weah’s CDC fails to uphold 40% quota promise for women in party elections

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By: Varney Dukuly

President George Weah’s three-party-led government, in 2022, adopted a 40% women quota resolution to give women voice and to contest for parliamentary seats on the party’s ticket.

The new policy was made for the party to push at least 40% of women into leadership positions.

According to the CDC, the new policy was binding on the party. The policy came at the time when the party failed to produce a single female candidate in the then mid-term senatorial elections.

The party’s political leader and self-proclaimed ‘Feminist-in-Chief’ President Weah has continuously lauded the idea of promoting women in politics.

But, has his ideas translated into reality, using the 40% women quota resolution as a benchmark?

DUBAWA looks deeper into the quota system announced by the CDC government to promote women in governance and assess whether the Weah-led government is walking the talk.

Outlook of women in politics before Weah’s Liberia

In 2005, the West African nation became the first country in Africa to produce a female as President amidst the patriarchal outlook of the society. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia’s first female president, earned herself global recognition by winning a Nobel prize for peace.

Her ascendency to the president’s seat allowed women and girls across Liberia and the rest of Africa to find their voices by enhancing their representation in public office.

Madam Sirleaf 2017 democratically ushered in George Weah as President after serving her 12-year constitutional term. There was, therefore, the need to maintain gender representation in governance even after the tenure of Johnson Sirleaf.

As a result, President Weah proclaimed himself as ‘Feminist-in-Chief’ with the promise to give women a louder voice in the democratic governance of Liberia.

The CDC Chairman, Mulbah Morlu, no sooner called on the President to appoint more women to top positions.

“After 17 years, the National Executive Committee of the CDC has unanimously adopted a resolution, requiring 40 per cent political participation for women throughout its leadership structures and parliamentary seats in pending general elections,” said party Chairman Mulbah Morlu.

“Additionally, the party’s NEC is calling on the president to appoint more qualified women to significant positions in government as a necessary step to close the gender gap,” Morlu said.

He made the call during the party’s 17th anniversary in 2022, thus cementing a Gender quota measure for all of its internal and external democratic processes.

So did the ‘Feminist-in-chief’ and his party appoint more women into the party’s top hierarchy and cabinet, as prayed for by the party’s chairman and demanded by the party’s resolution?

To answer this question objectively, it is important to understand the quota resolution passed by the CDC government.

The general idea of the Quota system is to recruit women into political positions and ensure that women sit in the corridors of power and take part in the country’s decision-making.

The ruling party, therefore, agreed that its 40% women quota adopted in 2022 was binding to have women in leadership on its ticket ahead of the pending elections.

In addition to the 40% women quota in its internal party election, the governing party also promised a 30% women participation to ensure women are fairly represented in government.

DUBAWA’s research showed that since 2019 women’s representation in the legislature has been at 12.3%, ranked 151 among 192 countries in the world.
During the mid-term Senatorial elections in December 2020, women accounted for just 20 out of 118 eligible candidates in the Special Senatorial Elections, with the ruling CDC nominating all men.
The worryingly low figures for women’s participation in politics and governance made the CDC promise very crucial. Yet, after the CDC primary results for the October 10 elections, the data does not show a party walking the talk on women’s participation.
Our findings showed that the ruling CDC has 9.5% of women for parliamentary seats in the pending elections, not 40% as demanded by the resolution. The party primary produced only 11 female candidates out of 87 winners for October 10.

For example, out of the 87 winners emerging from the CDC’s recent primaries across the 15 counties, only 11 were females constituting far below the documented and reaffirmation resolutions that call for 30 or 40%.

Attached is the link officially from the CDC’s recent primaries for the upcoming elections

The party chairman, Mulbah Morlu, failed to honor an interview with DUBAWA for clarity or to state why the party picked more men than women for the upcoming Presidential and Legislative elections amidst a standing resolution for 40% quota women.

Below are WhatsApp exchanges with him.

Even though the 40% women quota is only a year into implementation, DUBAWA can state, using the CDC’s recent primaries as a benchmark, that the party has failed to honor its promise to promote 40% women into its leadership

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