The legacy of Africa’s first woman president is as a pioneer—but not of female empowerment

Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf addresses a news conference at the National Palace during her official visit to Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa The very first lady. (Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

With fewer than ten days until Liberians go to the polls on Oct. 10, president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is preparing to step down as the first female president elected in Africa. While her actions to restore peace to the fragile nation over the past 12 years have been lauded by many across the globe—including the Nobel Peace Prize committee—she also has her critics, especially when it comes to female empowerment.

When Sirleaf came to power in 2005, rape, murder and mutilation had been endemic across the country. The new president had the formidable task of upholding peace in Liberia, two years after the end of a 14-year civil war where more than 250,000 people were killed and another million displaced.

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Source: News Now/ Quartz Online

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About Cholo Brooks 12126 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.