The launch of the leadership program was part of the many activities by OWE in collaboration with New LBS Community Women Association as part of its activities in commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day or IWD. This year’s IWD was held under the global theme: “Women in leadership achieving an equal future in covid-19 world,” and the national theme: “Women in leadership standing together against violence in election procedure in a covid-19 world.” The leadership program was launched under the banner: “Women Rock The Capitol” under the theme: “Propelling women to national leadership.”
Officially launching the program, the Community Forestry Specialist at the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Madam Jarsah Varney Okai, urged Liberian women to hold together in one unison if they are to compete with their males counterparts in decision making agenda of the country. According to her, in order to bigger state positions, women must put aside what she described as “crab mentality” and hold together without any form of disrespect to their males partners. “It's about time that we go at the top and we must stand up to fight for our place.
We must not allow ourselves to be brainwashed even by our husbands. We must put aside crab mentality and hold together if we must rock the capital. It is about time that we take it at a different level. It is about time that our children’s situation gets solved,” Madam Okai stated. “We appreciate your efforts and ask that you press in more. This is a very good initiative. We are going to win together. Our success will be perpetual only if we are united as a people,” she added. In remarks, Montserrado County Electoral District #3 Representative, Ceebee C.D. Barshell pledged his unwavering support to OWE and all initiatives aimed at promoting the plight of women.
He urged the women group to push deeper for key leadership at the Capitol such as the positions of the Speaker as there has not been any female Speaker in the history of the country. “Don't just go for the capital just as ordinary lawmaker. Go for the speaker or Ways and Means Chairperson. For the speakership, you will be making history, because there has not been any woman that our history has recalled in that role. If you become a chairperson on ways and means, you will also be able to allocate funds that promote women’s activities,” the Montserrado County lawmaker stated.
“Again as I said, you must go for position that will uplift women at bigger positions. We will support women not by words but by actions. Government must as well support women to grow, for instance; in agriculture,” he noted.
Giving an overview of OWE, Madam Aretha K. Togbah, Executive Director of the organization, explained that the group seeks to address the key issue of inequality in society, by empowering and advocating for women in society.
“OWE holds the strongest conviction that empowering oppressed, undeserved women and girls is a reasonable cause for re-living the feminist dream, where women too can now become leaders, and caretakers of their families,” stated Aretha. According to her, the mission of OWE is to empower widow, single mothers and undeserved adolescent girls to become who or what they choose without validation from society.